LeBron James Records Near Triple-Double on Birthday as Heat Grills Nuggets

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By Lou Ramon Aguila | December 31, 2013 11:34 PM EST

LeBron James recorded 26 points, 6 rebounds and 10 assists on his 29th birthday as the Miami Heat nipped past the Denver Nuggets 97-94 on Monday at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.

James was not expected to play for the Heat on Monday after suffering a groin injury against the Sacramento Kings, but the four-time MVP decided to suit up and further inflict damage on the skidding Nuggets.

King James knocked down five of his nine three point attempts while his court vision allowed him to dissect the Nuggets defense.

"They left me open at the 3-point line. I took nine 3s and all of them felt good," said James, who converted five.

"The groin wasn't an issue at all," James told reporters during the post-game press-conference via ESPN.

Ty Lawson recorded 26 points and 7 assists and JJ Hickson racked up 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Nuggets, who dropped to 14-16. Meanwhile, the Heat improved to 24-7 - good for second behind the Indiana Pacer in the Eastern Conference battle.

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