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Lakers Vs. Heat Final Score: LeBron James Leads Miami To 98-87 Win Over Los Angeles

The Miami Heat won their second straight game on Thursday night, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 98-87 at American Airlines Arena. Unlike Tuesday night against San Antonio, the Heat controlled the game for almost the full 48 minutes, leading by as many as 23 points. The Lakers made a little noise late, but the Heat cruised comfortably by double digits for the entire second half.

Despite battling the flu, LeBron James dominated on both ends of the floor for Miami. James had been sent home from shootaround earlier in the day, but word came down that he would get the start just before tip. Playing without Dwyane Wade again, James picked up the slack and finished with 31 points, eight assists, eight rebounds, four steals, and three blocks. Chris Bosh helped out with 15 points, but this night was all about James, who got the better of his superstar matchup with Kobe Bryant. The Lakers guard was just eight of 21 from the field, and added a flurry of points in garbage time to finish with 24.

Miami will look to make it three in a row on Satuday, as they host the Philadelphia 76ers.

For more news, analysis, and discussion on Miami, visit SB Nation's Heat blog, Peninsula Is Mightier. For the perspective from the other side, visit SB Nation Los Angeles and SB Nation's Lakers blog, Silver Screen And Roll. For news and notes from around the league, be sure to follow SB Nation's NBA hub.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.