LeBron Burns Kobe, Lakers in Heat Rout

LeBron-JamesThe first meeting between LeBron James and Kobe Bryant this season turned out to be something to forget for the Los Angeles Lakers as the Miami Heat trounced the defending NBA champions in a Christmas Day rout, 96-80.

James notched his third triple-double of the season, piling up 27 points on top of 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a performance that dwarfed that of Bryant, who managed only 17 points. It was the second-straight Christmas Day defeat for the Lakers against a James team after last year’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

James got plenty of help from the rest of the so-called Heat Big 3, as Chris Bosh added 24 points and 13 rebounds while Dwayne Wade chipped in 18 points. While the Heat offense was obviously a big factor in the team’s 14th win in 15 games, it was defense that spelled the difference for Miami. The Lakers were held to 14 points in the first quarter and never recovered from there, as they absorbed their second-straight blow-out loss at home following Tuesday’s 98-79 debacle against the Milwaukee Bucks.