LeBron James got hot late, and kept the Miami Heat on fire.
James poured in 24 of his 44 points in the final quarter and overtime, along with 13 rebounds and six assists, and the sizzling Heat trimmed the Portland Trail Blazers 107-100 on Sunday night, extending its road winning streak to 13 games.
“LeBron was sensational,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
“I had to do whatever it took to win,” James said.
The victory moved Miami within three games of matching the 1971-72 LA Lakers for the NBA-record of 16 consecutive road wins.
“Everybody wants to see us lose on the road, so we have that road warrior mentality,” Heat superstar Dwyane Wade said.
“Thirteen isn’t bad but 16 would be great if we can end this road trip with three more wins.” Wade scored 34 points, while Chris Bosh finished with 18 for Miami (30-9) which has won nine in a row and 21 of its last 22 games.
“They played well, they had us down late in the game,” Bosh said.
“But we kept our composure, we kept chipping away and got stops when we needed them.”
LaMarcus Aldridge had 31 points with 14 rebounds, while Frenchman Nicolas Batum scored 22 for the Blazers (20-18), who had an eight-game home win streak snapped.
Portland coach Nate McMillan marveled over Wade and James.
“I think he kind of flips the switch,” McMillan said of James.
“Wade was good in the first quarter (15 points). LeBron was even better in the fourth (16).” Miami trailed most of the second half, and by eight in the final frame but James hit two free throws with 24 seconds to knot it at 93-apiece.
Portland has chances to win in the final seconds of regulation, but Andre Miller missed a pair of jumpers, and Miami was in its second overtime in as many games.
James took control in the extra five-minute session, with eight points, including a pair of threes.
With the Heat ahead by two, the league’s reigning two-time Most Valuable Player, buried a triple and followed with two free throws, opening up a 102-96 advantage with 1:38 left.
The Trail Blazers pulled within 104-100, and were looking to draw closer after Aldridge grabbed Wade’s missed jumper with 38 seconds.
But he was whistled for a travelling violation in the back court and James buried another triple at the other end to seal the win “We were supposed to run and pick and roll, and he actually waved me off,” Bosh said. “I saw the fire in his eyes and he knocked it down. That’s what big-time players do. They live for moments like that, take those big those shots to go ahead and put the dagger in guys.” Elsewhere: San Antonio 94, Minnesota Timberwolves 91 Argentine ace Manu Ginobili scored 21 points to lead six players in double figures, and the NBA-best Spurs (31-6) beat the visiting T-Wolves for the 15th consecutive time.
Kevin Love had 18 points with 17 rebounds in Minnesota’s (9-29) fourth straight setback.
LA Lakers 109, New York Knicks 87 Kobe Bryant scored 27 points, Spaniard Pau Gasol had 20 with 14 rebounds, leading the Lakers (27-11) to their fourth straight victory.
Amar’e Studemire had 23 points and 10 rebounds for New York (21-15), which had its three-game winning streak halted.
New Orleans Hornets 96, Denver Nuggets 87 Chris Paul scored 20 points, David West added 19 and the visiting Hornets (22-16) handed the Nuggets their third straight loss.
Carmelo Anthony had just eight points for Denver (20-16) in a speculation-filled day that the All-Star forward was headed to New Jersey as the centerpiece of a complicated three-team, 15-player deal with Detroit.
Phoenix Suns 108, Cleveland Cavaliers 100 Reserve Jared Dudley scored 21 points, Steve Nash had 20 with 17 assists, and the Suns (15—20) snapped a three-game slide by sending the short-handed Cavaliers to their 10th consecutive loss.
Rookie Manny Harris scored a season-best 27 points for Cleveland (8-29), losers of 16 in a row on the road. Earlier in the day, the Cavs learned Brazilian centre Anderson Varejao was done for the season, needing surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right ankle.
LA Clippers 105, Golden State Warriors 91 Eric Gordon scored 25 points, Blake Griffin had 23 with 12 rebounds, and the Clippers (12-24) rolled to their seventh win in the last 10 games.
Dorell Wright led visiting Golden State (15-22) with 27 points.
Toronto Raptors 118, Sacramento Kings 112 Italy’s Andrea Bargnani scored 30 points, DeMar DeRozan had 28 and the Raptors (12-24) sent the Kings to their 10th straight road loss.
Slovenian Beno Udrih had 25 points for the Kings (8-26), who were without their top scorer Tyreke Evans (left ankle sprain).