LeBron paces star-studded roster on Thursday’s S&Ds

Before the game, Miami coach Erik Spoelstra implored LeBron James he would need a “Magic Johnson-like” performance from him Thursday night to overcome the loss of missing power forward Chris Bosh. 

James obliged with a performance that would have pleased Johnson, erupting for 38 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and five steals in the Heat’s 107-93 victory at Portland — their NBA-best ninth straight victory.  

Spoelstra invoked Johnson’s name to James, telling him he needed him to do a lot with a strong all-around effort.

“Really, it was as simple as this: `We need a Magic Johnson-type, not necessarily performance, but awareness,”’ Spoelstra told the Associated Press. “Man, he really took the challenge. It’s his ability to do all these different things in the course of one game.”

James said he was ready to do what his team needed.

“We had a big piece of our team out, so I definitely had to step up my game to bring home this win,” he told the AP.

Dwyane Wade added 33 points and 10 assists as the Heat cruised  to their sixth straight victory on the road and 17th victory in their last 19 games.

Their big games were enough to place both on Thursday’s Studs and Duds of  the top efforts across the league.


Miami F LeBron James: Erupted for 38 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, five steals and was plus-8 in the Heat’s victory at Portland.

Oklahoma City F Kevin Durant: Went for 38 points, eight rebounds and was plus-9 in the Thunder’s victory at Orlando.

Miami G Dwyane Wade: Notched 33 points, 10 assists, three steals and was plus-13 in the Heat’s victory at Portland.

Oklahoma City G Russell Westbrook: Delivered 29 points, 10 assists and was plus-10 in the Thunder’s victory at Orlando.

Phoenix G Steve Nash: Provided 13 points, eight rebounds and 17 assists and was plus-9 in the Suns’ victory over Minnesota.


Miami G Norris Cole: Missed all four shots with three turnovers and was minus-5 in the Heat’s victory at Portland.

Los Angeles Clippers Eric Bledsoe: Missed both shots, had two turnovers and fouled out in only 10 minutes of game in the Clippers’ victory at Sacramento.

Sacramento G Isaiah Thomas: Went 2 for 4 from the field, had  six turnovers and was minus-8 in the Kings’ loss to the Clippers.

Sacramento G Tyreke Evans: Clanked through a 7-for-21 shooting night with four turnovers and was minus-6 in the Kings’ loss to the Clippers.

Orlando F Glen Davis: Went 1 for 8 from the field in the Magic’s loss to Oklahoma City.

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