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Heat 99, Bobcats 98

The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- Forward Chris Bosh made three consecutive 3-pointers in the final two-plus minutes to help the Miami Heat rally from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to a 99-98 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Sunday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.

The first of Bosh's 3-pointers bounced off the rim four times before falling, but the last two were straight swishes.

Bosh, who entered the game having failed to score in double figures in three straight games, finished with 22 points against the Bobcats.

Forward LeBron James led the Heat with 26 points, and guard Dwyane Wade had 17.

Guard Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 27 points. Walker was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer with seven-tenths of a second remaining and the Bobcats down by four.

Walker made the first two free throws and tried to miss the third in order to get a tip-in to force overtime. However, he made the third free throw as well -- off the backboard.

Miami (14-3) extended its winning streak to 10, the longest active run in the league. The Heat trails the Indiana Pacers by two games in the battle for the best record in the East.

Charlotte (8-10) is the most improved defensive team in the league, allowing 11 fewer points than last season. And for most of the game, the Bobcats' defense was effective -- at least until the Heat made their fourth-quarter run.

The Bobcats outscored the Heat by 11 points in the third quarter to lead led 73-61 heading into the final period. Charlotte shut out Wade in the third quarter and held James to two points.

Meanwhile, Bobcats guard Gerald Henderson had eight points in the quarter, and Walker had seven.

In the first half, the Bobcats trailed by as many as 10 points before taking their first lead of the game with 40 seconds left in the second quarter on a mid-range jumper by center Al Jefferson. That completed an 18-7 run and sent the Bobcats into halftime leading 48-47.

Charlotte got back in the game by getting to the free-throw line, making 14 of 15 foul shots in the first half. The Bobcats' free-throw shooting negated the efforts of James, who had 14 points, and Wade, who had nine of his 11 first-half points in the second quarter.

The Heat led 24-21 after one quarter -- but it was a struggle. James, who aggravated a back injury Friday night in Toronto, missed a dunk, and Wade had just two points in the period.

Wade, though, passed a milestone, becoming the all-time NBA leader in blocked shots by a player 6-foot-4 or shorter, breaking Dennis Johnson's record.

Charlotte finished 24-for-28 at the foul line. Miami made 19 of 25 free throws.

NOTES: Bobcats F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who started 77 games last season and made the All-Rookie second team, returned to the starting lineup Sunday after missing Friday's game due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot. ... Heat G Dwyane Wade entered Sunday averaging 23.0 points on 63 percent shooting in his previous four games. ... Not many players 6-foot-10 or taller lead their team in assists, but that what the Bobcats have with F Josh McRoberts. The 6-10, 240-pounder is averaging 4.3 assists. ... The Bobcats travel to Dallas for a Tuesday game against the Mavericks. ... Up next for the Heat is a Tuesday home game against the Detroit Pistons.
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