Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Bosh scored a game-high 31 points on 15- of-22 shooting in leading the Miami Heat to a surprisingly tight 109-102 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.
Although the Heat never trailed, the outcome was still up in the air until the final minute when Bosh's 18-footer secured Miami's sweep of the season series in back-to-back seasons for the first time in franchise history.
"I was able to make a good stride today. I'm just trying to do my best and not let the team down," Bosh said.
LeBron James finished with 27 points, 13 rebounds and six assists for the Heat, who have won four of their last five following a rare three-game slide.
Pau Gasol and Jodie Meeks both netted 22 points for the Lakers, while Nick Young contributed 19 points on 20 shots in the loss, which dropped Los Angeles to 2-3 on their seven-game Grammy road trip.
The Lakers forced 18 turnovers but allowed Miami to shoot 57.7 percent from the field.
The NBA announced the starters for the NBA All-Star Game on Thursday, and Miami saw two of its players voted into the Eastern Conference lineup. One of those, however, missed a fourth consecutive game as Dwyane Wade is still trying to alleviate pain his troublesome knees.
Luckily for the Heat, they have James -- the ASG's leading vote-getter -- and a slew of very capable role players filling the void.
The Lakers scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to pull within 85-80, but Bosh hit a baseline 20-footer and Norris Cole dribbled around the entire Lakers defense for a reverse layup to gain some breathing room.
Los Angeles stayed competitive, twice cutting its deficit to four down the stretch. James answered with a 3-pointer to give Miami a 106-99 lead with under 2 1/2 minutes to play, and Kendall Marshall missed a bonus free throw after getting fouled on a successful drive to the hoop.
After forcing James into a bad shot at the other end, the Lakers missed three consecutive shots that could have made it a one-possession game. Instead, Bosh came down and hit a patented mid-range jumper at the foul line with 54.4 seconds to go, and the Heat held on from there.
"We hit a couple big shots down the stretch, they just hit a couple bigger shots and they beat us," Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni said.
Heat project Greg Oden scored on a dunk and a turnaround jumper to highlight an 11-2 run that opened the second quarter and extended Miami's lead to 41-29.
The Heat were in front, 57-46, at halftime after shooting 56.8 percent in the opening 24 minutes, and they made six of their first eight shots in the third to stay in front by a healthy margin.
James' coast-to-coast dunk at the midway point gave Miami a 75-60 lead.
James committed a game-high five turnovers ... Gasol also grabbed 11 rebounds while Marshall handed out 11 assists ... Cole and Mario Chalmers both netted 11 points for Miami ... The Lakers have dropped six in a row in South Beach, their last victory in Miami coming on Feb. 10, 2008.