NBA Roundup: LeBron James returns, Miami Heat cruises past New Jersey Nets

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Jan. 7 2012 11:50 p.m. MST

NEWARK, N.J. — LeBron James returned to the lineup and scored 22 of his 32 points in the first quarter, and the Miami Heat rolled to a 101-90 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Saturday night despite playing without Dwyane Wade.

Wade missed his third straight game with a bruised left foot, but James had the game under control by the time his All-Star teammate arrived at his seat on the bench.

James made his first seven shots, leaping high for dunks, lobs and blocked shots and showing no effects from the sprained left ankle that forced him to miss a game. The NBA's leading scorer added nine assists and seven rebounds.

Chris Bosh added 16 points after a slow start for the Heat, who won their third straight and ran the NBA's best record to 8-1. They hope to have Wade back when they move to the West for the final three games of a five-game trip.

Kris Humphries tied a career high with 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Nets, who shot just 33.7 percent in front of a sellout crowd of 18,711. Deron Williams had 10 points and 10 assists but was just 4 of 16 from the field.

KNICKS 103, PISTONS 80: At Auburn Hills, Mich., Amare Stoudemire scored 22 points and Mike Bibby added 16 to lead New York to an easy victory over Detroit. Detroit guard Rodney Stuckey sat out with a groin injury, and the Pistons were also without forwards Austin Daye and Charlie Villanueva, who had sore ankles.

THUNDER 98, ROCKETS 95: At Houston, Kevin Durant hit a jumper with 22 seconds left and nailed two free throws. Durant finished with 27 points and six rebounds.

HAWKS 109, BULLS 94: At Atlanta, Josh Smith scored 25 points, Joe Johnson and Vladimir Radmanovic each added 17 and Atlanta beat Chicago to snap the Bulls' six-game winning streak. John Lucas III had 14 of his team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter for Chicago, which never led.

76ERS 97, RAPTORS 62: At Philadelphia, Andre Iguodala had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Jrue Holiday also scored 14 points in Philadelphia's fourth straight win.

PACERS 99, BOBCATS 77: At Indianapolis, Roy Hibbert had 20 points, eight rebounds and three blocks despite briefly leaving the game with a sprained right ankle to lead Indiana over Charlotte.

MAVERICKS 96, HORNETS 81: At Dallas, Vince Carter and Ian Mahinmi had 13 points each as Dallas handed N.O. its sixth consecutive loss.

SPURS 121, NUGGETS 117: At San Antonio, Danny Green scored a season-high 24 points as San Antonio beat Denver for its sixth straight home win and third in a row overall.

CLIPPERS 92, BUCKS 86: At Los Angeles, Caron Butler scored 13 of his 20 points in the third quarter to help L.A. stay atop the Pacific Division standings.

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