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Depleted Heat beat full-strength Clippers


Miami Heat’s LeBron James (6) is fouled as he goes to the basket by Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan, left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Miami, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. AP Photo/Alan Diaz

MIAMI – LeBron James made sure the flu-hit Miami Heat had more than enough to get past a Los Angeles Clippers team finally playing at full strength on Friday.

James scored 30 points in just 31 minutes to lead NBA champions Miami to a 111-89 victory over the Clippers.

The emphatic win spoiled the return of the Clippers’ Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Chauncey Billups.

Paul had missed nine games with a bone bruise in his right knee. He scored just three points in 20 minutes.

Griffin had missed two games with a hamstring strain. He scored 13 points. Billups was playing for the first time since December after battling an inflamed tendon in his left foot. He contributed seven points in 16 minutes.

DeAndre Jordan led the Clippers with 17 points, but Los Angeles were no match for the Heat even though Miami were without both All-Star center Chris Bosh and Ray Allen because of flu.

James made 9-of-11 from the field, including 4-of-5 from three-point range. He also added six assists.

Dwyane Wade, who missed the morning shoot-around because of flu symptoms, scored 20 points with seven assists.


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