Ray Allen scored seven of his nine points in the final 5 minutes as the defending NBA champions repelled a late charge by the Lakers, who lost for the seventh time in nine games.
Kobe Bryant scored 13 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter for Los Angeles, which rallied for a brief lead midway through the final period before James and Allen secured the Heat's second win in their last eight road games against the Lakers.
KNICKS 102, PISTONS 87
LONDON (AP) — Carmelo Anthony returned to the site of his Olympic triumph and scored 26 points to lead New York over Detroit.
Anthony scored 18 in the first half as the Knicks (25-13) jumped out to a 16-2 lead before holding a double-digit lead for most of the game.
Amare Stoudemire added 17 points for the Knicks and J.R. Smith scored 16. Will Bynum led the Pistons with 22 points.
The Pistons (14-25) were the home team at the O2 Arena in London, the site of the Olympic gold-medal game during last year's London Games. It was the third regular-season NBA game played at the venue, where the then-New Jersey Nets swept the Toronto Raptors in a pair of games two years ago.
Anthony and Knicks teammate Tyson Chandler were on the team that celebrated a gold medal for the United States with a win over Spain in August. Chandler scored 10 points on Thursday and pulled down 14 rebounds.
Anthony has at least 20 points in 25 straight games, extending the longest streak of his career.
CLIPPERS 90, TIMBERWOLVES 77
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jamal Crawford scored 22 points, Blake Griffin added 20 and Los Angeles hardly broke a sweat in cruising past free-falling Minnesota.
Lamar Odom grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out six assists, and the Clippers outscored Minnesota's bench 45-23 to overcome Chris Paul's third straight missed game because of a knee injury.
Luke Ridnour scored 21 points and Ricky Rubio had four points and six assists in his first start of the season for the Timberwolves, who lost leading scorer and rebounder Nikola Pekovic to a bruised right quadriceps in the third quarter.
The Timberwolves shot just 35.7 per cent and missed 15 of their 19 3-pointers in losing their fifth straight game.
BUCKS 98, SUNS 94
PHOENIX (AP) — Mike Dunleavy hit a 3-pointer with 57.4 seconds left to cap a 10-0 run and Milwaukee pulled away to snap a 24-game losing streak in Phoenix.
Monta Ellis scored 24 points and Larry Sanders added 19, while Dunleavy and Brandon Jennings had 16 apiece for the Bucks, who had not won in the Valley since Feb. 21, 1987, at the old Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Milwaukee has won four of six since interim coach Jim Boylan replaced Scott Skiles on Jan. 8.
Shannon Brown scored 20 points off the bench for the Suns, who have lost four straight at home for the first time since 2004 and have dropped 13 of 15 overall.