James' jumper lifts Heat over Magic, 101-99

TIM REYNOLDS (AP Basketball Writer)
The Associated Press
James' jumper lifts Heat over Magic, 101-99

MIAMI (AP) -- The last offensive play for the Miami Heat did not go as planned. In the eyes of Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, the two-time defending NBA champions pretty much botched the whole thing.

Except the ending, that is.

''It helps to have LeBron James,'' Spoelstra said.

James bailed out the play - and delivered the eventual game-winner in the process. His jumper with 15.1 seconds left provided the final points, and the Heat rallied from 16 down in the second half to beat the Orlando Magic 101-99 on Saturday night.

Dwyane Wade scored 27 points in his return to the lineup after missing two games to rest his knees, James added 22 and Chris Bosh had 15 for the Heat (10-3), who have won six straight. This marked the first time the Heat needed to rally in the final quarter.

''I cleared out and he did the rest,'' Wade said of Miami's final offensive play. ''He made an unbelievable shot.''

Glen Davis, playing for the first time since Jan. 30 because of a broken left foot, scored 20 points for the Magic, who fell to 0-5 on the road. Arron Afflalo and Victor Oladipo had shots in the final 5 seconds, but neither fell - Oladipo's skipped off both sides of the rim - and Miami escaped when James got the game's last rebound as time expired.

He threw the ball downcourt, tossed his headband and wristbands into the stands, and exhaled deeply.

''LeBron in space, and he'll take care of the rest,'' Spoelstra said of Miami's last play. ''But the execution before that was extremely poor, very poor. And he just did what great players do. He was very relaxed, calm, got to a spot where he felt comfortable and shot a great in-rhythm jump shot that made all of us look better.''

Afflalo scored 18, Oladipo added 17 and E'Twaun Moore had all of his 14 points in the first half for Orlando, which let one slip away. In the first 43 minutes, the Heat led for all of 54 seconds, and were getting blown out for a while.

In the end, they had the only lead that mattered.

''We know that they are a team that can get things going pretty quickly,'' Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said.

Bosh's jumper with 4:30 remaining put Miami up 89-88, and from there it got frantic to the end. James made a 3-pointer over Davis for another Heat lead with 3:47 left, then took a charge against the burly power forward 19 seconds later, grimacing as he got off the hardwood.

Miami led by four points on a pair of occasions, and the lead was three with just under a minute to play. Afflalo missed a 3-pointer that would have tied it, but Davis got the rebound, went into the lane, drew contact from Bosh and got a shot to fall. The free throw rattled and dropped with 37 seconds left, and the teams were tied at 99-all.

Orlando didn't score again.

''I wouldn't want to come back against no other team,'' said Davis, who got three stitches near his right eye after the game. ''This was a great team to come back and play. I'm just happy to be back no matter if we're playing the NBA champs or we're playing (the New Orleans) Pelicans or something, I'm just happy to play basketball and show the world that I can contribute to a team. I'm just happy I'm back.''

James added nine rebounds and seven assists for the Heat, plus reached double figures for the 508th straight regular-season game, tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the fifth-longest streak in NBA history.

Moore had all his points in the second quarter, on 5 for 5 shooting, 4 for 4 from 3-point range. When Afflalo got a 3-pointer to rattle off the rim a couple times and finally fall with 7 seconds left in the half, the Magic owned a 55-39 lead to take into the intermission.

By the time Orlando got its first points of the second half, that lead was largely gone.

Miami opened with 10 straight points in the third quarter, with James hitting a pair of 3-pointers and Wade capping it all by going down the middle of the lane for a dunk.

Just like that, 55-39 became 55-49, and the Heat had life. And in the end, they had a win as well, albeit a much tougher one than the 28-point romp at Orlando on Wednesday.

''That's the nature of the game,'' Wade said. ''We knew they were going to play better tonight.''

NOTES: After playing twice in four days, the teams do not meet again until Miami visits Orlando on Jan. 4. ... James had a stuff-like-only-he-does sequence in the third quarter when he got a deflection and steal, gathered the loose ball, dribbled upcourt and threaded a one-handed crosscourt pass between plenty of Orlando defenders to set Ray Allen up for a 3-pointer.

  • Earl Thomas watched last week's Seahawks game incognito at Buffalo Wild Wings

    If you were in a Portland-area Buffalo Wild Wings last Sunday afternoon, you probably noticed a man in sunglasses and a hoodie who seemed a little too into the Seattle Seahawks’ loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was All-Pro safety Earl Thomas. Thomas missed the first game of his career last week because of a hamstring injury and didn’t travel with the team.

    Shutdown Corner
  • 2016 Formula 1 champion Nico Rosberg decides to retire

    Nico Rosberg’s 2016 title was his first — and last. (Getty) Nico Rosberg is ending his Formula 1 career with a title. Rosberg announced Friday that he was going to retire. He won his first world championship on Sunday in Abu Dhabi, clinching the title

    From The Marbles
  • Gerard Gallant says post-firing taxi photos 'blown out of proportion'

    Former Florida Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said the reason he took a taxi after his Sunday firing was because he didn’t want to wait for a car service that the team had called. Gallant spoke with Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and said the situation, which went viral after photos of him waiting at the PNC Arena loading dock surfaced, wasn’t as bad as it looked. “I know everyone has seen the photos of me getting into the cab,” Gallant said via Friedman.

    Puck Daddy
  • Former NFL Player Shot in Road Rage Incident

    Joe McKnight, a former player for the New York Jets, was shot to death Thursday following an argument at an intersection with another motorist near New Orleans. Mcknight trying to dance to the outside. Reporter: But this morning 28yearold Joe Mcknight is dead, authorities believe the victim of a road rage incident in New Orleans.

    ABC News Videos
  • Chris Paul poses for selfie with fan during Clippers' blowout of Cavs

    Chris Paul throws his deuces in the sky just for the shutterbugs. Commitment to craft, taking the time to get it right, and putting in the extra effort to make sure he gets the assist: that’s CP3 in a nutshell.

    Ball Don't Lie
  • This Week in 'Pitch': Will they or won't they?

    Everyone knows that Mike is about to be traded to the Cubs, and Oscar the GM and Charlie the president of baseball operations specifically do not want Mike to play that day because if he gets injured, that would blow the whole deal.

    Big League Stew
  • Barcelona, Real Madrid enter El Clasico with drastic reversal of roles

    Messi, unlike Barca, is in form, while CR7 and Real are rolling along. Nine months and one day after beating a Barcelona side that looked like it would be the first team to win back-to-back Champions League titles, Real Madrid returns to Catalonia’s church of football on Saturday. The El Clasico on April 2 – a 2-1 Real victory – ended an historic run of 39 matches unbeaten for Barcelona and set into motion a series of events that denied Barca the possibility of a double-treble.

    FC Yahoo
  • Jadeveon Clowney looks like a child wearing Vince Wilfork's jersey

    Players and coaches have to find ways to keep things fun, and the Houston Texans seem to have a good grip on that idea. Texans players decided to switch jerseys at practice Friday, and no swap was better than the one between Vince Wilfork and Jadeveon Clowney. A few Texans players switched jerseys at practice today, but the Vince Wilfork and Jadeveon Clowney swap is probably the best.

    SB Nation
  • Breaking Down Today’s Game Hall of Fame Ballot: George Steinbrenner

    On Monday, December 5, the Today’s Game committee of the Baseball Hall of Fame — the replacement for the Veterans Committee which covers the years 1988-2016 — will vote on candidates for the 2017 induction class. On the surface, one might say “hey, George Steinbrenner owned the Yankees and the Yankees won seven world titles,” but as we’ll see below, that’s not the be-all, end-all consideration either. If one wants to go beyond just the rings, one could argue that it’s awfully hard to talk about baseball in the last quarter of the 20th century without mentioning George Steinbrenner’s name. Steinbrenner was a lot of things, but he made an important mark on baseball in that he was the first owner to take full advantage of free agency and forced other teams to keep pace.

  • Trevor Siemian misses another practice, Paxton Lynch reportedly will start

    Trevor Siemian had one of his better games on a national stage last week against the Kansas City Chiefs, but he won’t have a chance to build on that momentum this week. Siemian missed his third straight practice on Friday and according to Mike Klis of 9News in Denver, he’ll be out against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. First-round pick Paxton Lynch will make his second career start.

    Shutdown Corner
  • Jeff Gordon to drive in 2017 Rolex 24

    Jeff Gordon drove in eight races in 2016 after he retired followed the 2015 season. Jeff Gordon will make his second Rolex 24 start in January. The four-time Sprint Cup Series champion will drive for Wayne Taylor Racing in the season-opening IMSA sports-car race at Daytona International Speedway Jan. 28-29.

    From The Marbles
  • Clutterbuck on Williams: collision or late hit? (Video)

    There is one thing we know for sure about the hit above: Justin Williams got absolutely rocked by Cal Clutterbuck on Thursday night. The contact between the two players was well after Williams seemed to have touched the puck. Williams appears to be caught puck watching as he turns it over at center ice.

    Puck Daddy
  • Mark Helfrich brought up topic of returning to Oregon to Chip Kelly

    Oregon coach Mark Helfrich was fired Tuesday. When San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly said earlier in the week that he wasn’t a candidate at Oregon, he said the only person he’d talked to at the school was now-former coach Mark Helfrich. Helfrich said on ESPN Radio’s Russillo and Kannell on Friday that his conversation with Kelly came as rumors were swirling regarding Helfrich’s job status.

    Dr. Saturday
  • LeBron James is your 2016 Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year

    LeBron James celebrates during the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2016 NBA championship victory parade and rally. LeBron James turned in a superhuman individual effort rivaling the greatest three-game runs in NBA history to carry the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first-ever NBA championship and the city’s first pro sports title in 52 years.

    Ball Don't Lie
  • Dana White created interim featherweight belt because of huge logjam

    There were a lot of disappointed fans when the UFC announced that Conor McGregor had given up the featherweight title he’d won at UFC 194 by knocking out Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds. There was also speculation, including from John Kavanagh, McGregor’s highly respected coach, that the decision wasn’t McGregor’s. UFC president Dana White vehemently disputed that contention in an interview Thursday with Yahoo Sports.

  • High school goalie keeps busy during loss by making 98 saves

    There was bad news and amazing news for Tony Bruns after his team’s loss to Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato on Saturday. Now to the amazing news, which was that Bruns faced a lot of rubber. “I was a little surprised,” Bruns told the Star Tribune.

    Puck Daddy
  • Utah takes second in international match featuring brains, not brawn

    I've written about the annual Latin competition featuring teams from Utah, Brigham Young University and Utah State, but that doesn't do long-suffering Ute fans much good since the Cougars usually whip us. Now, there is something for U. fans to be proud of — and it involves international competition. The Utes finished second among 14 universities from around the world in — get this — computer programming. And while the University of Science and Technology of China took top honors, the U. bested two other teams from China, as well as squads from Germany, Taiwan, Singapore and Colombia. There were five other competitors from the United States, including a combined team from Boston University, the

    The Salt Lake Tribune
  • New rule could prevent Shohei Otani from coming to MLB until 2019

    Major League Baseball and the players union coming together on a new collective-bargaining agreement prior to Thursday’s deadline elicited a positive response from baseball fans. Why wouldn’t that be the case? As a result of new international signing rules, Nippon-Ham Fighters superstar Shohei Otani probably won’t be coming to the majors until at least 2019. Here’s part of the new CBA nobody really likes: With new int’l signing age 25, Japanese star Shohei Otani won’t be coming to MLB until 2019.

    Big League Stew
  • Justin Thomas, Smylie Kaufman Return to Baker's Bay for 'Winter Meetings'

    The crew is back in Baker's Bay. Well, at least half of it. Justin Thomas and Smylie Kaufman have returned to scene of last year's spring break shenanigans with Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth, known to golf fans as #SB2K16. Fowler and Spieth are playing

  • Questions, answers about Monster Energy’s partnership with NASCAR

    NASCAR announced Thursday that Monster Energy will become the entitlement sponsor of the sport’s premier series but many questions remain. Here’s a look at what was said at Thursday’s press conference in Las Vegas and the questions that remain. HOW LONG WILL MONSTER ENERGY BE THE SERIES SPONSOR? No such details were given. NASCAR Chairman Brian France said that it was a multi-year agreement “with some options. We never get into the specifics of contracts.’’ WHAT WILL THE SERIES BE CALLED? That detail was also not revealed. France said: “We are working on the exact composite logo … and we’ll be back shortly on that. It won’t be long. We’ve got some real good options on that.’’ WHAT ELSE IS INVOLVED

    NASCAR Talk
  • Just a brutal night for Justin Williams

    Justin Williams earned the clutch nickname of “Mr. Game 7” by developing quite the timing when it comes to scoring goals. Every now and then, the bounces go the other way, even for him. Thursday was an example of that, as he seemingly scored a 1-0 goal for the Washington Capitals, but actually did so just a frame too late. Here’s the would-be goal in question: The NHL did a great job capturing the moment. Yeah, that was close: It was one of those nights for Williams and the Capitals. The Islanders won 3-0, and Williams suffered this hit by Cal Clutterbuck:

  • Elliott remains focal point of Cowboys offense

    Ezekiel Elliott was dominant in both rushing and receiving as he helped lead the Cowboys to a 17-15 win over the Vikings. Also, with Rob Gronkowski out with injury, Martellus Bennett becomes a top option for Patriots.

    NBC Sports
  • The very manly Charles Barkley still doesn't like that the Warriors play 'girly basketball'

    Charles Barkley lets us know. At this point, Charles Barkley’s distaste for the Golden State Warriors’ brand of basketball is well-established. Barkley doubled down on that stance this past summer after the Cleveland Cavaliers knocked off the Dubs in their 2016 Finals rematch, this time dinging Golden State — now featuring “cheater” Kevin Durant — for playing “little girly basketball” in a very sober, serious and restrained debate that took place at a nightclub inside a Lake Tahoe casino against Jerry Rice.

    Ball Don't Lie
  • Penn State's scapegoat in Sandusky saga finally gets some redemption against university

    Mike McQueary was awarded more than $12 million in damages in two lawsuits against Penn State. It was five years after the scandal broke nationally, costing McQueary his once-promising football coaching career, Joe Paterno his job and iconic reputation and Sandusky, the former Nittany Lions defensive coordinator, his freedom. McQueary was 42 years old in August, but back living in his parent’s house in State College, Pa. He was no longer the hero athlete who starred at the local high school, or the former starting quarterback at Penn State, or one of Paterno’s trusted assistants.

    Yahoo Sports US
  • Jonathan Toews, Auston Matthews engage in 'call your shot' battle (Video)

    Jonathan Toews, Auston Matthews trick shot video screen shot. Chicago Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews and Toronto Maples Leafs forward Auston Matthews went against each other in a game of ‘call your shot’ for a Bauer stick video shoot. For the most part the rookie held his own against Toews.

    Puck Daddy