MIAMI (AP) — LeBron James scored 33 points and Chris Bosh added 30 as the Miami Heat used a historic third-quarter turnaround to erase a big deficit and beat the San Antonio Spurs 120-98 on Tuesday at the AmericanAirlines Arena.
Miami outscored San Antonio 39-12 in the third quarter — the second-largest differential for any quarter in Heat history and the second-worst differential for a period in Spurs history. The Heat trailed 52-35 late in the second quarter.
Mike Miller made his season debut and shot 6 for 6 on 3-pointers, finishing with 18 points, tying his career-high for makes from beyond the arc.
And the Heat did it all without Dwyane Wade who sat out on his 30th birthday because of a sprained right ankle.
With the win, Miami snapped a season-high three-game losing streak.
Every part of Miller's game was on display: A perfect night from 3-point range. Diving for loose balls. Coming up limping and in obvious pain after he dove for those loose balls.
“Every once in a while you get going when you're a shooter,” Miller said.” I just happened to do that. First game back, it felt good”
His teammates were more succinct.
“You couldn't even script that any better,” said LeBron James.
Miller was able to leave the arena without any visible limps or icepacks, which, these days, represents a major victory for the veteran swingman.
After signing with the Heat in the summer of 2010, Miller missed more than half the team's regular-season games and underwent four surgeries. His run of bad luck started after snapping his thumb when it got tangled in James’ practice jersey during a training-camp workout last season and he also dealt with shoulder and ankle problems over the remainder of the year.
This season, it was the hernia issue that popped up shortly before training camp and he sat out Miami's first 12 games, even though he regularly pleaded with coach Erik Spoelstra that he was ready to return.
On Tuesday, Spoelstra was convinced — to a point, anyway. He had planned to play Miller for no more than six minutes. Making six 3-pointers led to a change in that plan.
It was the 22nd time in Miller's career that he hit at least six 3-pointers and the first time he took at least six without missing any. He was 5 for 5 from 3-point range on Feb. 17, 2010, for Washington against Minnesota.
The six 3-pointers matched his most in a Heat uniform.
“The fans, from Day 1, have been amazing to me,” Miller said. “Last year when I came back, it was the same thing.”
He said he and the Heat have worked out an arrangement. If they don't ask him about any injuries, he won't tell them.
The Heat takes on the L.A. Lakers this Thursday, Jan. 19, at the Arena.
Photo: Mike Miller