LeBron James passes Heat to victory

LeBron James and his fancy passing helped the Miami Heat end their season-long five-game losing streak and beat one of the best teams in the NBA.

James had nine of Miami's 17 assists, and the Heat improved to 16-4 this season when James has at least nine dimes. Miami wins two-thirds of its games when James has five to eight assists and is only 6-4 when James has four assists or fewer.

Heat W-L By LeBron James Assists
This Season

James and Miami were at their best when Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade were on the bench. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only permutation of the James-Bosh-Wade trio that had a positive plus-minus was when James played, and the other two were on the bench. In those four minutes and 40 seconds, the Heat outscored the Lakers by eight points.

That's not to say that Bosh or Wade were useless. With 24 points, Bosh led Miami in scoring for the fifth time this season. With Kobe Bryant defending him in the final five minutes, Wade hit three of four shots, after making only two of ten attempts against Bryant in the game's first 43 minutes.

A number of streaks ended on Thursday. Miami snapped its season-long five-game losing streak and its four-game home losing streak. Most noteworthy, Miami ended a five-game slide against teams above .500. Miami is now 2-0 versus the Lakers this season and 0-7 against the other four teams with a win percentage over .650.

On the other side, the Lakers eight-game win streak and five-game road win streak are over, as Los Angeles allowed more than 90 points for the first time in six games.