THE FACTS: LeBron James was back for the Miami Heat.
And Chris Bosh was gone.
Despite the change in unavailable player, the Miami Heat still found another way to win with just one-third of their All-Stars in the lineup. In his return, James scored 27 points to lead the Heat to a 106-87 victory against the Philadelphia 76ers Saturday at AmericanAirlines Arena.
James had missed the last three games with a sore hamstring. His return meant the Heat were able to send Bosh to the sideline. He sat with a hyper-extended knee, joining Dwyane Wade (knee) as the Heat's injured stars.
It's not as if the Heat needed to be at full strength to defeat the fading Sixers. James received plenty of help, with five other players scoring in double-figures. Reserve Rashard Lewis finished with 14 points, his third-highest total of the season. Ray Allen and Mario Chalmers each scored 11 points while Norris Cole and Udonis Haslem added 10.
The Sixers kept it close before the Heat took control midway through the fourth quarter. Jrue Holiday led Philadelphia with 18 points.
QUOTABLE: "A lot of contributors. From that standpoint, it was a good win. Obviously, it was good to see guys who had been sitting out get their minutes. LeBron was able to play efficiently. There were no problems after this game. We'll see how he feels tomorrow."
-- Heat coach Erik Spoelstra
THE STAT: The Heat made 14-for-24 from the 3-point line.
TURNING POINT: Allen hit two 3-pointers to key a 7-0 run that pushed the Heat's lead to double figures midway through the fourth quarter.
QUOTABLE II: "We knew the 3-point line was going to be a real problem. They cranked it up defensively. LeBron made spectacular plays. They hit every three. When they shoot the ball like that and stretch you like that, you're not going to beat them."
-- Sixers coach Doug Collins
HOT: Before the game, it was announced James would only play limited minutes. So he made the most of his opportunities. After missing three straight games, he picked up right where he left off. James played just 29 minutes, but did finish the game on the court.
NOT: The Sixers defense had all sorts of struggles against the Heat bench. Five reserves had impacts for Miami, with Lewis doing most of the damage. The Heat got 53 points from the bench.
GOOD MOVE: It's not good for the fans, but the Heat continue to sneak in rest days for their star players. Bosh and Wade were once again able to rest nagging injures. With two days off before the next game, the break extended break will be beneficial for Bosh.
BAD MOVE: Sixers forward Evan Turner was having a solid night until he turned his ankle while driving to the basket with 38.2 seconds left in the third quarter. Turner hobbled off the court without assistance. When he returned, he wasn't the same. He went scoreless after the injury, finishing with 14 points.
NOTABLE: James surpassed the 21,000-point mark ... Sixers forward Dorrell Wright, who missed Friday's game against the Hawks with a sore elbow, was back in the lineup ... The Heat improved to 33-4 at home .... Bosh and Wade will continue to be evaluated. Spoelstra said there is no rush in getting Wade back in the lineup ... Heat center Joel Anthony made his first start of the season ... Allen made his return after missing Friday's game because of a mild ankle sprain.
UP NEXT: For the Heat, Tuesday vs. Milwaukee, Wednesday @ Washington, Friday vs. Boston. For the Sixers, Tuesday @ Brooklyn, Wednesday vs. Atlanta, Friday @ Washington.