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Heat, James fend off Bobcats

LeBron James was nearly perfect in leading the Miami Heat to a 99-94 victory over the pesky Charlotte Bobcats.

James finished with 31 points on 13-of-14 shooting while adding eight rebounds and eight assists.

Chris Bosh had 23 points and Dwyane Wade scored 20 with season-high 12 rebounds for the Heat, who led by no more than nine points Monday night.

"(The Bobcats) were playing hard. They wouldn't go away. We had to really concentrate on the game," Bosh said.

Ramon Sessions paced six Charlotte players in double figures with 18 points. Ben Gordon contributed 16 points, while Gerald Henderson and Byron Mullens posted 12 points apiece.

The Heat appeared to be on the verge of finally distancing themselves from the Bobcats in the fourth quarter as Bosh hit a jumper to put Miami up 85-76 with 4:11 to play.

But, like they did the whole game, the Bobcats crept back as two Sessions free throws closed the gap to 89-87 with 1:38 remaining. Ray Allen missed a 3- pointer on the next Miami possession, but Mullens lost the ball after grabbing the rebound. Bosh followed up the steal with a dunk.

James and Wade then scored baskets after Kemba Walker and Mullens misfired from beyond the arc on consecutive Charlotte possessions. Miami sealed its 10th straight win in the series at the foul line.

"When you are on the road against this kind of team, you are going to have to execute and one play can make the difference," said Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap. "Essentially, it came down to that tonight."

Game Notes

The Heat shot 50.6 percent, but were only 1-for-12 from 3-point range ... Walker had 11 points and Jeff Taylor supplied 10 for Charlotte.