Phoenix Suns' guard Steve Nash (13) drives against the Miami Heat during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) By Matt York
PHOENIX (AP) -- LeBron James scored 36 points, Chris Bosh had a double-double and the Miami Heat beat the Phoenix Suns 95-83 on Thursday night to set up a Christmas Day showdown with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Miami played without star guard Dwyane Wade (knee), but didn't need him the way James and Bosh slashed through Phoenix's defense.
James raised eyebrows before the game, saying it might not be such a bad thing if the "watered down" NBA were to contract. On the court, he showcased his usual fly-through-the-air flair, earning oohs and aahs from the star-studded crowd when it wasn't booing him.
Bosh chipped in 23 points and 11 rebounds, helping the Heat win their eighth road game with a big one coming up against the two-time defending champions.