MIAMI (CBSMiami) – For a while Tuesday night, it looked like Miami Heat superstar LeBron James was going to make a run at Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game record. James cooled off in the second half but still led the Heat to a 100-96 victory over his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The victory pushed LeBron’s record to 12-1 against his former team, whose owner famously guaranteed in a spiteful letter to fans that the Cavs would win a title before James ever would in Miami.
James started out the game almost perfectly. He scored 25 points in the first quarter, a first in his career. He did this by shooting 10 of 11 from the field, his only miss coming on a three-point shot from the right side.
LeBron scored just six points in the second quarter and finished with 43 points on the night. While he didn’t make a full on assault on 100 points, it was enough to remind everyone who seems to quickly forget that he is the greatest basketball player on the planet right now.
Even if the Cleveland Cavaliers can’t remember how to spell his name. But, at least it wasn’t in Comic Sans font like the Cavs owner’s letter slamming LeBron for leaving Cleveland in 2010.
What was just as impressive was LeBron’s defense in the second half. When the game was on the line as Cleveland mounted a hard charge, LeBron and company put together a block party and swatted away shot after shot from the Cavaliers.
The top block was arguably LeBron posterizing Cavaliers center Spencer Hawes. The massive center went up for a dunk and James came across the lane and met Hawes at the rim and swatted the ball away from the rim.
It’s a block that would have made Alonzo Mourning or Shaquille O’Neal proud of their Heat brethren.
The 43-point outburst was only one game, but it was a game the Heat needed to win. The Heat remains three games behind the Indiana Pacers in the race for home court advantage in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Both Miami and Indiana have clinched playoff spots, the first two teams in the NBA this year to do so.