Heat 97, Bobcats 81

The SportsXchange

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Forward LeBron James scored 30 points and the Miami Heat won their third straight with a 97-81 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday night.

James followed up a season-high 39-point effort on Friday against Dallas with another vintage performance, hitting 13 of 18 from the field. He also had seven assists and four rebounds in 32 minutes, sitting out the last seven.

The Heat built a 16-point lead in the first half but let it slip completely away when Charlotte came back to tie at 47-47 early in the third quarter. But James and Co. went back to work at that point, pushed the lead back to 68-60 after three quarters and led by as many as 17 in the fourth.

The Heat (7-3) have now won six of their last seven games.

Miami also got 15 points from forward Michael Beasley and 10 from center Chris Andersen off the bench. Center Chris Bosh played just 16 minutes because of foul trouble and finished with seven points, and guard Dwyane Wade had just four on 1-of-7 shooting.

Charlotte had a two-game winning streak snapped and fell to 5-5. The Bobcats shot just 34.9 percent from the field (29 of 83). Guard Kemba Walker led the way with 22 points, forward Jeffery Taylor scored 14, and guard Gerald Henderson scored 13.

The Heat played without guard Mario Chalmers, who was serving a one-game suspension. Chalmers received a flagrant foul for an elbow to Dirk Nowitzki's head in the win over Dallas, and the NBA handed down the penalty on Saturday. Coach Erik Spoelstra said he was disappointed in the suspension, noting that Chalmers did not have a reputation for being a dirty player.

"I disagree with the suspension," Spoelstra said before the game. "The penalty seemed very severe, and there are ramifications for the future. But we'll deal with it."

NOTES: The Heat were also without G Ray Allen, who did not make the trip because of a cold, and F Udonis Haslem, who continues to be plagued by back spasms. ... Charlotte C Al Jefferson missed his second straight game and his seventh game of the season because of a bone bruise in his right ankle. ... ... The Bobcats were also without C Brendan Haywood, who will be out at least two months with a stress fracture in his left foot. ... Both teams were on the second night of back-to-backs. The Heat beat Dallas 110-104 at home on Friday night behind F LeBron James' season-high 39 points. The Bobcats won at Cleveland 86-80 with F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist leading the way with 16. ... The Heat have won 14 straight in the series. Charlotte's last win came on March 9, 2010. ... Heat G Dwyane Wade had a career-high eight steals against Dallas and is third in the league at 2.75 per game. ... The Bobcats will play at Chicago on Monday and then will close out November with six games in a 10-day stretch. Five of those six games are at home. ... The Heat will return home to face Atlanta on Tuesday.
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