Lakers Vs. Heat, Christmas Day: LeBron James' Triple-Double Lifts Miami Over LA, 96-80

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - LeBron James posted his 31st career triple- double with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists as Miami continued its recent success by downing the Los Angeles Lakers, 96-80, at Staples Center. James, the two-time reigning MVP, outdueled two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP Kobe Bryant, by making 8-of-14 shots from the floor, including 5-of-6 from beyond the arc. James also sank all six of his foul shots and added four steals for good measure for the Heat, who have won 14 of their last 15 games.

Chris Bosh supplied 24 points and 13 rebounds while Dwyane Wade added 18 points, five rebounds and six assists in his return to the lineup after missing Thursday's win at Phoenix. Miami snapped a five-game losing streak to the Lakers in Los Angeles."It was a very good team win, a lot of people contributed," Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We tried to be as active as we could be. We're building an identity along with building continuity."

Bryant connected on 6-of-16 shots en route to 17 points and Pau Gasol chipped in with 17 points and eight rebounds for the Lakers, who have dropped two straight. James finished an 11-2 burst with a layup that gave the Heat a 66-50 advantage with under five minutes to go in the third quarter. Miami maintained a double- digit lead through the remainder of the period and carried a 75-64 advantage into the final 12 minutes.

LA moved to within 77-69 with 8 1/2 minutes to play before the Heat reeled off the next nine points, four by James and five by Mario Chalmers, over a two- minute stretch to forge a 17-point cushion. A James Jones trifecta and an Erick Dampier jumper then pushed the margin to 91-70 with 4:18 to go and the visitors were not tested the rest of the way.

"I'm disappointed with the finish to a game that was hyped so much," said Los Angeles head coach Phil Jackson. "We're not surprised on how poorly we played. Offensively, I was not pleased with our ball movement and shot selection. Give the Heat credit, they helped manufacture this." James' three-pointer finished off a 13-2 run that gave the Heat a 17-10 lead with 3:47 remaining in the first quarter. Miami led 20-14 after the first 12 minutes during which the Lakers made just 6-of-25 shots.

Chalmers' triple gave the Heat a 33-20 advantage with 7:43 left in the half. A Gasol dunk cut the deficit to 45-36 with a minute remaining before the teams exchanged buckets heading into the intermission. Bosh made 11-of-17 shots...Wade hit on only 6-of-17 from the floor but knocked down all six of his free throws as Miami went 17-of-20 from the line...Chalmers finished with 13 points...Bryant added six caroms and seven assists...Lamar Odom totaled 14 points and nine boards in defeat...The Lakers shot just 40.5 percent (32-of-79) from the floor while Miami made 44.3 percent of its shots (35-for-79).

For more Lakers news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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