NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - LeBron James had 31 points and 11 rebounds, and the Miami Heat opened a 16-point first-quarter lead and never looked back in a 108-94 victory over the struggling New Jersey Nets on Sunday night.
Dwyane Wade added 18 points despite a first-quarter thigh injury and Chris Bosh had 16 as the Heat won their third straight and
eighth in nine games. The win pulled Miami (54-23) within 2½ games of idle Chicago (56-20) in the race for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. The Heat have five games left, one less than the Bulls.
Deron Williams had 18 points and 12 assists to lead the Nets, who have lost six straight and 10 of 11. Travis Outlaw added 17 points and nine rebounds, while Brook Lopez had 16 points.
New Jersey played without leading rebounder Kris Humphries (ankle-heel) for the second straight game and it showed on the boards. Miami enjoyed a 50-30 advantage with Eric Dampier grabbing a game-high 14.
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