Newark, NJ – LeBron James stepped up in the absence of Dwyane Wade, scoring the Heat's final 17 points en route to a game-high 37 as Miami came back to edge the New Jersey Nets, 101-98, on Monday.
After trailing for the vast majority of the game, the Heat took their first lead at 97-96 with 51 seconds to play on the back of a personal 11-0 run by James, who finished with seven assists and six rebounds.
Chris Bosh contributed 22 points and 15 rebounds in the victory, Miami's third straight.
Kris Humphries led the Nets with 29 points and MarShon Brooks tied a career- high with 24 in New Jersey's second consecutive losing effort.
Both teams were without key playmakers. Wade sat out as part of a maintenance program for the right ankle injury that has caused him to miss 12 games this season, while Deron Williams was sidelined with a right calf injury sustained Saturday against the Celtics.
James sat for over six minutes to open the fourth, and came in a bit after his teammates rolled off eight straight points to tie the game at 82.
Brooks kept Miami from taking the lead, though, and he pushed the hosts' advantage to seven on a driving jumper with 3:30 to play.
Then James took over.
After hitting four straight from the charity stripe, he converted a three- point play before driving hard for layups on consecutive possessions to hand the Heat their first lead. He knocked down a pullup jumper on the next trip down the floor to make it a three-point game.
The Nets had a chance to tie with a three-pointer after James' layup made it 99-96, but they failed to successfully inbound from the sideline before the five-second violation was called, and James iced the contest with a pair from the line after New Jersey was forced to foul.
Miami shot 60 percent from the floor in the first half to under 54 percent for New Jersey, but committed seven turnovers, which turned into 10 points. The Nets held a 55-52 edge at intermission.
Miami improved to 12-1 without Wade this season...The Heat won their 10th straight over the Nets and swept the season series for the third consecutive season...New Jersey's largest lead was 13...New Jersey plays two more games at Prudential Center -- against New York on Wednesday and Philadelphia on Apr. 23 -- before moving to Brooklyn next season.