LeBron James scores 41 points to help Miami Heat clinch playoff berth | NBA
LeBron James scored a season-high 41 points and the Miami Heat clinched a playoff berth with a 99-93 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
MIAMI — LeBron James arrived at work a little earlier than usual Tuesday, warming up more than three hours before tipoff.
With Dwyane Wade out because of a bruised left knee, the Miami Heat needed some extra offense — and James delivered.
James scored 14 straight Miami points in the fourth quarter and finished with a season-high 41, helping the Heat clinch a playoff spot with a 99-93 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
It was the 16th straight home victory for Miami, which has won its last 11 regular-season meetings with the 76ers.
Mario Chalmers had 19 points and Chris Bosh scored 17 for Miami, which improved to 9-1 without Wade this season.
Shane Battier started in Wade's place and ex-Gonzaga player Ronny Turiaf replaced Joel Anthony as the Heat's starting center.
Turiaf had six points and six rebounds in 22 ½ minutes and said he found out Tuesday he was starting.
"I'm not here to ask questions," Turiaf said.
Evan Turner scored 26 points for Philadelphia. Lou Williams scored 18, Spencer Hawes, a former Seattle Prep and Washington Huskies player, added 12 points and Andre Iguodala had 11 before leaving in the third quarter with a left-eye injury.
Iguodala was holding the ball when Chalmers tried taking it and struck him in the face.
"I thought my eye was gone," Iguodala said after the game. "It was hurting really bad."
sits out game
LOS ANGELES — Andrew Bynum's sprained left ankle kept him out of Tuesday night's 91-87 home victory over New Jersey.
The Los Angeles Lakers also seem a bit worried about the status of their All-Star center's head.
Lakers coach Mike Brown said he has no problems with his 7-footer's recent history of odd behavior. Brown declined to confirm ESPN's report Bynum was fined by the team for an accumulation of behavioral transgressions, although the coach didn't deny the report.
"It was an internal matter, and it was handled internally," Brown said.
Bynum, 24, is averaging career bests of 17.9 points and 11.9 rebounds. But he has declined to participate in certain team huddles, sitting down the bench by himself.
He has made numerous comments to the media about his role and his desire for more touches, frequently backtracking on his comments.
ESPN reported Bynum didn't show up for a recent meeting with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak.
• O.J. Mayo scored 19 points as host Memphis beat Golden State 98-94. Nate Robinson, a former Washington Huskies standout, scored 18 points for Golden State.
• The Phoenix Suns beat host Sacramento 109-100 despite a career-high 41 points by DeMarcus Cousins of the Kings.
Sacramento rookie Isaiah Thomas, a former UW player, had 25 points and seven assists. Reserve Terrence Williams, a graduate of Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, added 16 points and six rebounds.
• Danny Granger scored 14 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, and Indiana rallied from 17 points down in the second half to beat visiting New York 112-104.