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|LeBron James Scores 51 as Heat Slip by Magic
|ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- LeBron James had 51 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, including a 23 point first quarter, to lead Miami to a 104-100 victory over Orlando on Thursday night.
It was a season high for James, whose scoring effort tied for the fifth most points of his career.
The Heat exploited a thin Magic front line that was missing injured starting forward Brandon Bass. They led by as many as 23 points. Dwyane Wade added 15 points and Chris Bosh 13.
Jameer Nelson led Orlando with 22 points. Dwight Howard had 17 points and 16 rebounds, but only one point after halftime and was just 3 for 13 at the free throw line. Jason Richardson chipped in 16.
The victory was the Heat's fourth straight. The Magic lost for the fourth time in their last six and fell behind 2-1 in the season series with Miami.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)