(Adds late game)
Jan 23 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Thursday's National Basketball Association games.
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Heat 109, Lakers 102
In a game missing some of its star power due to injuries and other issues, the Miami Heat defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 109-102.
Forwards Chris Bosh (31 points) and LeBron James (27 points, 13 rebounds, six assists) led the Heat (31-12), who trail the Indiana Pacers by three games in the battle for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Los Angeles got as close as four points with 2:41 left to play, but Bosh, who made eight straight shots at point in the second half, and James held off the Lakers.
James and Bosh combined to score Miami's final eight points.
The Lakers (16-27), who have lost 14 of their past 17 games, were led by center Pau Gasol, who had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and guard Jodie Meeks, who added 22 points.
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Trail Blazers 110, Nuggets 105
Forward LaMarcus Aldridge scored a career-high 44 points as the Portland Trail Blazers claimed a 110-105 victory over the Denver Nuggets.
Aldridge scored the final 10 points for the Trail Blazers (32-11), who trailed for much of the game before taking the lead for good when he sank two free throws with 43.2 seconds remaining for a 106-105 advantage. He also had 13 rebounds and five assists.
Guard Wesley Matthews added 24 points for the Trail Blazers, who held Denver to 14 points in the fourth quarter.
Forward Wilson Chandler led six Nuggets who scored in double figures with 18 points. (Writing by Ben Everill; Editing by John O'Brien)