Chalmers hits 10 3-pointers as Heat rout Kings

Chalmers hits 10 3-pointers as Heat rout Kings

(AP) Chalmers hits 10 3-pointers as Heat rout Kings
SACRAMENTO, Calif.
Mario Chalmers had career highs with 10 3-pointers and 34 points to lead the Miami Heat to a 128-99 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.

LeBron James had 20 points, seven assists, five steals and a pair blocks for the Heat, who had a season-high point total. Miami, which hadn’t topped 100 points in its previous four games, got a needed bounce-back win after losing two straight and five of eight since Dec. 26.

Chris Bosh had 16 points, Mike Miller 12 and Dwayne Wade 11 for Miami, which shot 56 percent and went 17 for 37 from beyond the arc. Chalmers tied Brian Shaw’s franchise record for 3s and connected on 10-of-13 overall in breaking the previous record of nine 3s at Sleep Train Arena.

Miami led by 22 points at the half and outscored the Kings 37-29 in the third quarter in cruising to the lopsided victory.

Isaiah Thomas made six 3-pointers and scored a career-high 34 points for the Kings, who dropped their fourth straight game. DeMarcus Cousins had 11 points and eight rebounds, and James Johnson also scored 11 points.

The Heat have struggled on the road this season and had lost four of five entering the game. But Sacramento has been a successful road venue for the Heat, who have won seven of their last eight visits and evened their road record this year to 8-8.

James had a near flawless third quarter when he had 10 points, four assists and an impressive block against Thomas.

Chalmers also played a major role in Miami hiking its lead to 31 points after three quarters. He hit three 3s in the third quarter when he scored nine points.

After James’ 54-game streak of scoring 20 or more points was snapped Thursday with a 15-point effort in a loss to Portland, he got going early against the Kings.

James made all four shots and had 10 points in the opening quarter that included two sensational fastbreak dunks off lob passes.

After a scoreless second quarter, James reached 20-point mark in the third quarter and never left the bench in the fourth when the Heat played mostly its reservers.

There has been plenty of off-the-court news concerning the Kings this week. The Maloof owners are rumored to be in negotiations with a group headed by Chris Hansen that will buy the team and relocate to Seattle, where they will play next season.

Earlier today, it was reported that a local group was being formed to buy the Kings and build a $400 million downtown arena that would keep the team in Sacramento.

Chalmers made five 3-pointers and scored 19 first-half points, one fewer than his season high, helping the Heat to a 66-44 lead.

Both Bosh and James had 10 first-half points and Miller came off the bench to make three 3-pointers and contribute nine points.

The Heat moved the ball with precision and continually got open looks in the first half when they had 16 assists and made 8 of 17 3-pointers. They also had a good half defensively with seven steals, five blocks and held the Kings to 37-percent shooting.

NOTES: A Miami fan was heckling Kings coach Keith Smart early in the third quarter with the Heat leading by 20 points. “Best team money can buy,” Smart said to the boisterous fan. … Chalmers had it going early, making three 3-pointers and scoring 13 points in the game’s opening 5 1/2 minutes when Miami had a 17-4 lead. … It was only the second sellout this season for the Kings, who have the worst home attendance in the NBA. … Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson was in a courtside seat. On Friday night, James was Johnson’s guest at a St. HOPE fundraising dinner in Sacramento. … Miami forward Shane Battier missed his second straight game with a hamstring injury.

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