LeBron James banged up in Heat’s win over Thunder
LeBron James sat silently in front of his locker with a towel draped over his head, not wanting to reveal the effects of a hit to his nose that prematurely ended his night.
The Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY — LeBron James sat silently in front of his locker with a towel draped over his head, not wanting to reveal the effects of a hit to his nose that prematurely ended his night.
His Miami Heat teammates finished off a 103-81 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder without him on Thursday night.
Miami’s star forward went down with 5:50 remaining after he was struck by Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka on a drive to the basket. James finished the dunk, but he was bloodied and he left the court with a towel over his face.
“I’m like everybody else, you’re used to seeing him like Superman, get up and sprint back even after tough hits and tough falls,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “So we knew something was up.”
Miami’s star forward had landed the hardest blow long before that. He scored 16 of his 33 points in the first quarter to put the Thunder in a bind, and the Heat rolled to a lopsided win.
James passed a concussion test, but some damage was done.
“He has a swollen nose right now. It’s bleeding,” Spoelstra said. “We’ll evaluate him when we get back to Miami, but it’s sore.”
The Thunder was the one shaken up after James made his first five shots and scored 12 points in the first 4:11.
Dwyane Wade had 24 points and 10 assists, and Chris Bosh added 24 points for Miami, which won its fourth straight and avenged an earlier loss to Oklahoma City. It was a good step for the Heat, which is trying to catch Indiana for the top record in the Eastern Conference.
Kevin Durant scored 28 points for Oklahoma City, which lost at home for the first time since Jan. 5.
Russell Westbrook, who had missed the previous 27 games after having surgery on his right knee, started and scored 16 points in 24 minutes. He made 4 of 12 shots.
The Cleveland Cavaliers acquired former Huskies center Spencer Hawes from the Philadelphia 76ers for forward Earl Clark, center Henry Sims and two second-round draft picks.
The 7-foot-1 Hawes, who is in the final year of his contract, is averaging 13 points and 8.5 rebounds, both career highs, and shoots 40 percent from three-point range.
Also traded was former Sonics guard Luke Ridnour. The Charlotte Bobcats acquired Ridnour and Gary Neal from the Milwaukee Bucks for guard Ramon Sessions and forward Jeff Adrien just hours before the NBA trade deadline.
The Denver Nuggets acquired Franklin High School product Aaron Brooks from the Houston Rockets for Jordan Hamilton.
• The San Antonio Spurs traded guard Nando De Colo to Toronto for former first-round pick Austin Daye, a product of Gonzaga.
• The Indiana Pacers sent Danny Granger and a second-round draft pick to Philadelphia for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen.
• Looking to add a big man, the Brooklyn Nets worked out center Jason Collins, who would become the first openly gay active NBA player if signed.