Miami Heat All-Star forward LeBron James may have told reporters earlier this week that he could picture himself back in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform again some day; however that did not stop him from torching his former team on Friday night as the Heat crushed the Cavaliers at the Quicken Loans Arena 111-87. Miami shot 50..6% (40-79) from the floor as they were led by the former Cleveland player who knocked down 28 points for the night. It was the fifth straight win for the Heat who have an 8-2 record in their last 10 games.
Cleveland fell behind early and their offense never really took shape in this game as they were held to a mediocre 39.5% (30-76) shooting from the field. The squad came out flat in the first 12 minutes of action and never would able to mount a challenge against their visitors. Rookie point guard Kyrie Irving was the high scorer for his club with 17 points but he shot only 5-15 for the night.
Miami would set the tone for the game in the opening period as they came out on fire offensively while their hosts appeared to need a road map to find the basket in their own arena. Mario Chalmers drained a 25 foot trey with 1:13 remaining and the Heat held an imposing 35-14 advantage at the conclusion of the quarter.
Things would not get any brighter for the Cavaliers in the second as their visitors continued their offensive onslaught. Shane Battier would bury a three point shot with 36 seconds left in the period. Cleveland rookie forward responded with a tip-shot with 25 seconds to play but Miami would head into the locker room with the game well in hand as they were on top 63-38.
For the home team to have any chance in this contest; they would have to mount a strong challenge when they returned to the floor for the third. Unfortunately for their fans they would not be up to the task and would trail 90-67 as the two teams entered the final period. The Heat were never close to being threatened in the final 12 minutes of play and won the game with ease.
James knocked down 28 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal while Dwyane Wade scored 22 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. Chris Bosh notched a double-double with 16 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals while Chalmers had 14 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals. Rookie Norris Cole came off the bench with 10 points, 4 assists and 2 rebounds.
Irving scored 17 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 1 block while Ramon Sessions came off the bench with 15 points, 5 assists and 2 rebounds. Antawn Jamison put up 13 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block while Thompson added 12 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. Miami now has a record of 24-7 and will host Orlando on Sunday while Cleveland falls to 11-17 and they will play host to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday.