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Before leaving with a bloody nose, LeBron James tightened the race with Kevin Durant for MVP

LeBron's blood is red, just in case anyone was wondering.

James was smacked in the nose by Serge Ibaka on Thursday night in Oklahoma City after finishing a spectacular dunk and was taken to the locker room with 5:56 left in the Heat's 103-81 victory. James finished with 33 points, going 15 of 22 from the floor, and thoroughly outplayed Kevin Durant in the head-to-head matchup of contending MVP candidates.

James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade combined for 81 points, matching the Thunder's entire team in scoring. Bosh and Wade scored 24 point each. Shane Battier provided excellent defense against Durant, who scored just nine points in the first half. Durant finished with 28 points, but most of that came after the game was decided. In his first game back from a knee injury, Russell Westbrook had 16 points on 4 of 12 shooting.

The Heat is 7-1 in the month of February and went 5-1 on its difficult, 17-day road trip.

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