James Harden tried to make an ill-advised pass ahead to Howard in the final seconds of the Rockets-Heat game when the the center's elbow whacked the masked James in the jaw.
To add insult to injury, James' attempt at a buzzer-beating, game-tying three clanked off the rim to seal a 106-103 victory for the Rockets in Houston. James joked about the pain after the loss, telling The Miami Herald:
"It feels like my nose is broken."
LeBron had 22 points on the night on 9-of-18 shooting, but was scoreless in the fourth quarter.