After single-handedly netting a comeback, he adds sweet assist

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NEWARK, N.J. — LeBron James gave the Miami Heat a night to remember.

And then paused to give a 7-year-old boy a gift he won’t soon forget.

James walked off the court Monday night shoeless moments after scoring the Heat’s final 17 points in a 101-98 comeback victory against New Jersey.

He then took off his shoes, autographed them and handed them to Daniel Julez Smith, the nephew of singer Beyoncé Knowles, who sat courtside with husband/rapper/Nets minority owner Jay-Z.

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“Am I going to miss those shoes?” James said. “No, I got another pair. We came too far to take the foot off the gas. I looked at the scoreboard and didn’t know what I was doing individually. I knew I was making some plays though. I didn’t know I scored 17 straight.”

James’ fourth-quarter effort salvaged an otherwise sloppy effort by the Heat.

“No. 6 was pretty good,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He made every big play. That’s what an MVP does at both ends of the court.”

With a stretch of eight games in 11 days, the Heat has been finding opportunities to rest key players recently, and did so Monday with Dwyane Wade, who has an injured ankle.

The Heat struggled for most of the night against the Nets, who played without star guard Deron Williams, who sat out with a sore calf muscle.

But to the chants of “M-V-P,” James took over the game in the final five-plus minutes. He finished with 37 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Chris Bosh also was big, finishing with 22 points and 15 rebounds.

Johnson unsure

about Maloofs

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said Monday he isn’t sure he believes the Maloofs brothers, owners of the Kings, want to stay to stay in Sacramento.

“I can’t tell you whether they want to be in Sacramento or not.”

But in the next breath, he vowed, “This is not over. We’re going to figure out something. … We’re not going to just sit on our hands and roll over.”

A proposed arena deal fell through in Sacramento and other cities, including Seattle, have indicated a desire to land the team.


Nick Young scored 19 points off the bench to help the playoff-bound Clippers, at home in Los Angeles, beat West-leading Oklahoma City 92-77.

Al Jefferson scored 28 points and tied a career-high with 26 rebounds as Utah, at home, defeated Dallas 123-121 in triple overtime.

• Despite a season-high 30 points from former Husky Nate Robinson and 29 points from Washington State rookie Klay Thompson, Golden State fell 120-99 at home to San Antonio.

Ryan Anderson had 26 points and 16 rebounds, J.J. Redick scored 18 points and Orlando, at home, held off Philadelphia 113-100.

Arron Afflalo scored 26 points, Ty Lawson had 25 and visiting Denver posted a 105-102 victory over Houston.

David West had 22 points and 10 rebounds to help host Indiana beat Minnesota 111-88. Minnesota forward Kevin Love did not play because of a concussion and a neck strain.

Marcin Gortat had 20 points and 10 rebounds to pace host Phoenix to a 125-107 victory over Portland.

• Three days after New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson agreed to buy the Hornets and sign a lease extension at New Orleans Arena, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced that New Orleans will get the 2014 All-Star game as “a reward to the good citizens of this city.”

Dwayne Schintzius, a first-round draft choice in 1990 out of Florida who played for six NBA teams in eight years, has died after a two-year battle against cancer in Tampa, Fla. He was 43.

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