LeBron turns the Heat on LA Lakers

LeBron turns the Heat on LA Lakers

LeBron James shrugged off flu to deliver a game-winning 31 points as the Miami Heat beat Kobe Bryant and the LA Lakers 98-87 in the clash of the NBA's two biggest names on Thursday.

The Heat, missing injured guard Dwyane Wade, were on top from the first quarter and never looked in danger after establishing a 52-37 lead by half-time.

Bryant came into the game averaging a league-leading 30.8 points, the only player more prolific than James' 29.8, but was limited by the Miami defence for large stretches, ending with 24 points.
Spaniard Pau Gasol top-scored for the Lakers with 26 points.

James now has a 10-2 record in head-to-head games against Bryant.  The Heat lost three straight games on the road before returning home and beating the San Antonio Spurs 120-98 on Tuesday.

New deal for Westbrook

Oklahoma City All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook has capped a memorable week by signing a five-year contract extension with the Western Conference leading Thunder worth a reported $80 million.

The signing comes on the heels of the rapidly developing guard scoring a career-high 36 points against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, just two days after he was named to the 20 player pool for the US men's 2012 London Olympic basketball team. "They've (The Thunder) been great in just believing in me throughout thick and thin and ups and downs. ... I love to be somewhere you're appreciated," Westbrook told The Oklahoman newspaper.

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