Rookie Cole helps Heat hold off Celtics

NBA: LeBron James scored 26 points, rookie point guard Norris Cole came up with 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, and the Heat nearly blew a 20-point lead before beating the Boston Celtics 115-107 on Tuesday night in Miami.

Dwyane Wade finished with 24 points and eight assists for Miami, which got 18 from Chris Bosh and twice saw its lead cut to three in the final minutes. Cole delivered the answer both times with a pair of jump shots, and the Heat escaped.

Ray Allen scored 28 points on 8-for-12 shooting for the Celtics, while Rajon Rondo finished with 22 points and 12 assists and Keyon Dooling scored 18 off the Boston bench.

Through two games, Miami has trailed only once – by two points, for all of 14 seconds.

• Wallace helps Blazers beat Kings: Gerald Wallace had 25 points, eight rebounds and five assists, leading the Trail Blazers to a 101-79 victory over the Sacramento Kings in Portland, Ore.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and eight rebounds for the Blazers. Nicolas Batum added 15 points and five rebounds off the bench.

DeMarcus Cousins led the way for Sacramento with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

The Kings struggled from the field in the second half and committed 23 fouls and 20 turnovers for the game. They also made just 9 of 38 shots after halftime.

Iginla fuels Flames’ win over Blue Jackets

Hockey: Jarome Iginla scored Calgary’s only goal in regulation and then had the only score in the shootout to give the visiting Flames a 2-1 victory over Columbus and extend the Blue Jackets’ losing streak to six games.

Iginla, who scored in the third period to tie it 1-1, went first for the Flames in the shootout after Mark Letestu failed to score. The perennial All-Star faked once, then twice, to get Steve Mason down on the ice and then slipped the puck past him on the stick side.

Miikka Kiprusoff, who had 27 saves through overtime, then denied Rick Nash with a poke-check before James Wisniewski’s wrister clanged off the right post.

• Red Wings rally past Blues: Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall scored 56 seconds apart in the third period to give the Red Wings a 3-2 comeback win over the St. Louis Blues in Detroit.

Datsyuk added an assist, and Nicklas Lidstrom also scored for Detroit, which won its 11th consecutive home game. Ian White had two assists, and Jimmy Howard stopped 29 shots.

• Penguins run streak to four with win over ’Canes: James Neal had a goal and an assist, and Pittsburgh fired a barrage of shots at Carolina goalie Justin Peters before finally breaking him in a 4-2 victory over the visiting Hurricanes that stretched the Penguins’ winning streak to four games.

• Kane leads Jets past Avalanche: Evander Kane scored two goals, Ondrej Pavelec made 32 saves, and the Winnipeg Jets handed the Colorado Avalanche their first home loss in a month, 4-1.

• Czech Republic routs Denmark: Tomas Hertl scored twice, Petr Mrazek made 12 saves and the Czech Republic opened the world junior hockey championship with a 7-0 victory over Denmark in Edmonton, Alberta.

At Calgary in Group A, Jur Simboch made 25 saves in Slovakia’s opening 3-1 victory over Latvia.

Today in Group B, the United States will face Finland, and Canada will play the Czech Republic. In Group A, Sweden will face Switzerland, and Russia will play Slovakia.

Irish upset No. 22 Pitt to open Big East play

Men’s basketball: Alex Dragicevich hit four 3-pointers and scored a career-high 22 points to lead Notre Dame to a 72-59 win over No. 22 Pittsburgh in South Bend, Ind., in the Big East opener for both teams.

Jerian Grant added 15 points and nine assists, and Eric Atkins also scored 15 points for the Fighting Irish (9-5, 1-0), who trailed 26-25 at intermission but rallied with a 18-for-25 performance from the field in the second half.

Talib Zanna had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Panthers (11-3, 0-1), who shot 40 percent from the field (24 for 60).

Dragicevich, Grant and Atkins each had just five points in the first half for Notre Dame, which was outrebounded 39-30 but made up for it with seven 3-pointers – compared to just one for Pitt on 14 attempts.

Lack of snow leads to triathlon relocation

Miscellany: USA Triathlon has moved its 2012 Winter Triathlon National Championship from Vermont to Montana because of a lack of snow in the Northeast.

The Montana Standard reported the championship will be shifted to the Powder Hound Winter Triathlon on Jan. 29 at Homestake Lodge southeast of Butte.

The race includes a 5-kilometer run, a 10-kilometer mountain bike ride and a 5-kilometer cross country skiing course. It was initially slated for the Gunstock Winter Triathlon on Jan. 22 in Gilford, N.H.

The top three competitors in each age group will qualify for Team USA for the 2012 ITU Winter Triathlon World Championships in Finland in March.


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