Heat forward LeBron James drives past Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant during the first half of Thursday's game, which the Heat won thanks to 39 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists from James.
OKLAHOMA CITY -- It had all the makings of a classic confrontation. Miami and Oklahoma City, the finalist in last year's NBA Championship, were meeting on Valentine's Day before the All-Star break. It was a dream matchup.
For three quarters, it was anything but as the Heat looked like they were going to cruise to a win. However, the Thunder battled back in the fourth quarter to make a game of it. It just wasn't enough, though, as the Heat won 110-100 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
LeBron James led the charge for Miami (36-15) with 39 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. But his streak of consecutive 30-point games and shooting 60 percent from the field ended at six. James missed his final shot from 3-point range to finish 14 of 24 from the floor for 58 percent.
Chris Bosh added 20 points and 12 rebounds. Dwayne Wade was held to 13 points before fouling out.
Kevin Durant paced Oklahoma City (39-14) with 40 points on 12-for-24 shooting from the field. Russell Westbrook added 26 points and 10 assists.
After being dominated for three quarters, the Thunder struck back in the fourth behind Durant. He found his shooting stroke and helped Oklahoma City close to 11 with four minutes remaining. It began to look like the game fans had expected.
However, each time Oklahoma City got close, James had an answer, including making six straight points to close the game.
Miami swept the season series and has now won six straight games against the Thunder dating to the NBA Finals.
The Heat were on their game early. They had the Thunder running in circles as they tried to keep up with their crisp passing. Miami jumped out to a 28-13 lead.
On consecutive plays, Durant was called for a technical foul and then was undercut going for a rebound and landed awkwardly. After laying on ground for a couple of minutes, he got up and stayed in the game.
The Heat led 32-17 going into the second quarter.
Even with James on the bench to start the second quarter, the Thunder could only get to within 11. It was the Heat's defense that helped Miami separate itself from The Thunder. No matter what Oklahoma City tried to do, Miami had an answer.
Durant didn't make his first field goal of the game until 4:21 left in the second quarter when he hit a 3-pointer falling out of bounds.
James picked up three fouls in final two minutes of the first half. He was called for a technical foul arguing with referee Joey Crawford.
Despite that, Miami led 63-46 at halftime.
For much of the third quarter, the beating continued as Miami stretched its lead to 23 points. But the Thunder cut into the lead and got it down to 16 with less than a minute left in the quarter. But a Shane Battier 3-pointer pushed it back to 88-69 heading into fourth quarter.
NOTES: According to Basketball Reference, Durant leads the NBA in "Win Shares," which quantifies a player's overall impact on his team's winning. He is slightly ahead of James. ... The Heat had taken 48 offensive charges heading into Thursday. Udonis Haslem leads the way with 17 and Battier with 16. James has none. .. Despite making his third All-Star game, Westbrook has had his share of critics this season. That includes TNT analyst Steve Kerr. "I still want to see a more composed version of Russell Westbrook," Kerr said. "I think the internal improvement there really starts with him, both with his offensive efficiency -- there is no reason why he should shoot 41 percent; he's just too good of a player -- and there is just no reason for his tantrums."
Clippers 125, Lakers 101: Chris Paul collected 24 points and 13 assists as the visiting Clippers jumped out early and ran away from the Lakers.
Blake Griffin scored 18 of his 22 points in the first quarter and Chauncey Billups went 5-of-7 from 3-point range en route to 21 points for the Clippers, who cruise into the All-Star break with a four-game winning streak.
Kobe Bryant recorded 20 points and 11 assists and Dwight Howard added 18 points and eight rebounds as the Lakers fell to 0-3 against their arena rivals this season.
The Clippers, who put up 46 points in the first quarter of Wednesday's win over the Houston Rockets, came out on fire again on Thursday and opened up a 15-0 lead on the Lakers. Griffin had 10 points in that run and ended up going 9-of-10 from the floor in the quarter as the Clippers took a 31-17 lead into the second.
The Lakers would creep to within 50-47 in the second quarter before Billups and Paul combined on an 11-0 run to stretch it back out. Billups' 3-pointer with 8:27 left in the third made it a 20-point lead and Paul's 3-pointer at the buzzer pushed it to 101-80 heading into the fourth as the Clippers coasted to the finish.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Paul, Griffin, Bryant and Howard will all be in the starting lineup for the Western Conference in Sunday's All-Star game. ... The Clippers went 16-of-30 from 3-point range. Paul, Caron Butler and Matt Barnes each hit three from beyond the arc. ... Bryant, Metta World Peace and Antawn Jamison were each called for a technical foul for the Lakers.