20 Jan 2012

LeBron beats Kobe

5:12 pm on 20 January 2012

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

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.

James, whose involvement was in doubt until shortly before tip-off, ended the game with eight rebounds and eight assists.

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 defense 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.