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Heat end skid with win over 76ers

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- After some soul-searching at practice Thursday, the Miami Heat rediscovered their winning touch Friday night.

Forward Chris Bosh scored 25 points, forward LeBron James had a near-triple-double and the Heat stifled the Philadelphia 76ers to fashion a 101-86 victory and snap a three-game losing streak.

James finished with 21 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for Miami (28-11), which last lost three straight in January 2012. The Heat held the Sixers to 36.9 percent shooting -- their season low is 34.3 percent -- and a point total that was just three above their season low.

The Sixers (13-26), who fell for the fifth time in six games, made just two of their 20 3-point attempts (a season-worst 10 percent). Miami also blocked 12 shots, five by Bosh, and forced 23 turnovers.

"That's what we want to do," James said. "In order for us to win multiple games, in order for us to contend for a title, we have to defend. We know that. It was great to get back to defending how we know we're capable of doing."

Coach Erik Spoelstra said his club reaped the benefits of a long practice Thursday.

"It's more about the process," he said. "It's more about how we responded yesterday -- what we brought to the meeting and the practice -- an honesty about taking accountability for how we're playing and the slippage, and then (carrying that over to) the shootaround today, and then how you play and how you compete. Because you can't guarantee the result."

Forward Shane Battier and guard Norris Cole added 13 points each for Miami.

Reserve guard Tony Wroten had 13 points to pace Philadelphia. Guard/forward Evan Turner added 11, and center Spencer Hawes contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Sixers failed to breach the 90-point mark for the first time since Dec. 9 against the Los Angeles Clippers, and the fourth time all season. They are 0-4 in such games, and 0-7 when shooting below 40 percent.

It was also the 11th time this season the Sixers have committed 20 turnovers or more.

"We were wishing things and hoping things," coach Brett Brown said. "We were trying to will ourselves into making something happen in the game, and that tells you everything. It's not there. Even in the halfcourt, it's a mistake with the Miami Heat to hold onto the ball for more than .5 seconds. You've got to shoot it, pass it, dribble it. The second you start waiting, those athletes load up and their defensive schemes look even better."

The Sixers had stunned the two-time defending champions on opening night, a game in which rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams had a near-quadruple-double. But on Friday, Carter-Williams managed just seven points on 1-for-7 shooting. He had two assists and a team-high five turnovers.

Miami moved to a 25-13 lead eight minutes into the game, as Bosh scored 10 points. The 76ers drew no closer than seven the rest of the night.

The Heat led 58-41 at halftime, by which point Bosh had 15 points and four blocked shots. Miami also limited Philadelphia to 31.1 percent shooting in the first two quarters, a season low.

Turner led the 76ers with nine first-half points.

Miami extended its lead to as many as 25 points in the third quarter, a period that saw Bosh tack on eight more points and ended with the Heat holding a 79-61 lead.

James then notched 10 points in the final period, when Miami held the Sixers at bay.

NOTES: Sixers coach Brett Brown said before tipoff that the opening-night victory over the Heat "seems 1,000 years ago" and, consequently, of limited value in his team's rebuilding process. "If there's anything to gain out of it," he said, "perhaps there is the reality to our young team that they were able to beat an NBA champion." ... Brown, a former San Antonio Spurs assistant, was also asked whether the victory erased any of the sting from the Spurs' dramatic Game 6 loss to Miami in last year's NBA Finals, which San Antonio went on to lose in seven games. He said he never looked at it that way, though he thinks about the loss on occasion. "It is so frustrating you just want to flip a desk, you get so upset," he said. ... Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said G Toney Douglas, acquired from Golden State earlier this week in a three-team trade, was en route to Miami for his physical and that he could possibly be available on Saturday in Charlotte. ... Sixers C-F Lavoy Allen missed his fourth straight game with a strained right calf. ... Miami C Chris Andersen sat out his second straight game with a right knee contusion. ... Heat G Mario Chalmers returned after missing the previous four games with an Achilles strain. He finished with 10 points and five assists. ... Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim outfielder Mike Trout, a New Jersey native, was in attendance.

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