By recent Miami Heat standards, last night's win counts as close.

The Heat trailed early and waited until the end of the third quarter to make its move, winning by double figures for the ninth game in a row by beating visiting New Orleans, 96-84.

Dwyane Wade scored 32 points, topping 30 for the third consecutive game, and Chris Bosh added 23 points and 11 rebounds. The Heat blew the game open with an 18-2 spurt that put it up, 94-77.

LeBron James had 20 points and seven assists for Miami, back home after a four-game road sweep. Wade had an especially efficient night: 8-for-13 from the field and 14-for-17 from the free throw line.

David West had 26 points and 12 rebounds for the Hornets, who went 1-for-13 from three-point range.

The teams split the season series. New Orleans beat Miami, 96-93, on Nov. 5.

In other games:

* At Chicago, Carlos Boozer had 22 points and 18 rebounds as the Bulls defeated the Indiana Pacers, 92-73, for their sixth straight win.

* At Memphis, Zach Randolph had 25 points and 20 rebounds to lead the Grizzlies to their third straight win, 86-73, over the Portland Trail Blazers.

* At Dallas, Brandon Jennings had 23 points and 10 assists, and the Milwaukee Bucks rallied from a 20-point second-quarter deficit for a 103-99 victory that ended the Mavericks' 12-game winning streak.

* At Salt Lake City, Deron Williams' 30 points and 10 assists led the Utah Jazz over the Golden State Warriors, 108-95.


* A potential Louisiana-based ownership group for the New Orleans Hornets is taking shape, and Gov. Bobby Jindal and Mayor Mitch Landrieu said they are confident that Louisiana will be able to keep its NBA franchise. Majority owner George Shinn is selling the team to the NBA, and although there is little to stop the league from selling the club to new owners who want to move the team, commissioner David Stern has said that the goal is to try first to identify buyers who could help the team stay in New Orleans.

Among potential new owners at the meeting was Morris Bart, a local attorney who said he is willing to buy 10 percent of the team and added that outgoing minority owner Gary Chouest told him he is willing to buy back in for more than 50 percent.

* Minnesota recalled point guard Jonny Flynn from his second rehab stint with the Sioux Falls Skyforce and hopes to have him available for the game at Golden State tonight. Flynn had hip surgery in July.

* New Jersey rookie forward Damion James is expected to be sidelined up to 2 months after having surgery to repair a broken right foot he injured Thursday in a loss to Dallas.