MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – The Miami Heat handed LeBron James another loss on his former home floor with a 106-92 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.READ MORE: Heat Alert: Miami Beats Boston 109-103 For 2-1 Series Lead
His buddy Dwyane Wade scored 21 of his 32 points in the first half, while Heat newcomer Goran Dragic added 20.
Hassan Whiteside had 16 points and 11 rebounds and Mario Chalmers finished with 16 points off the bench for the Heat, who won both of James’ regular-season trips to Miami this season – his first two games back since leaving the team and returning to Cleveland last summer.
Miami closed the first half on a 19-5 run to take a 56-38 lead and pushed the margin to 25 in the third.
James scored 16 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter for Cleveland, which had its four-game winning streak snapped. Kyrie Irving added 21.
Miami moved into the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference standings, tied record-wise with No. 7 Indiana and No. 9 Boston. Charlotte, another team in that mix at the bottom of the East bracket, was in a late game at Utah.
Wade had 24 points at the half when Miami beat Cleveland on Christmas Day, and carried the Heat again early in this one. He had 16 points in the second quarter alone – matching the output of the entire Cleveland roster in those 12 minutes – and Miami had full control.
And to think, Wade’s best highlight of the night didn’t lead to anything.
Midway through the third, Wade saved a loose ball at midcourt and flicked it behind his back to Dragic, his pass somehow splitting James and J.R. Smith. Dragic’s layup was blocked by Smith but Wade ran it down again, trying yet another behind-the-back save. That try by Wade went awry, and he sat in an expensive courtside seat for a few seconds to catch his breath.READ MORE: Man Held Without Bond In Killing Of Baby, Babysitter In Coral Springs
James helped his friend and former teammate up, yet another sign of the respect they continue to have for one another. It was also on display a few moments earlier, when James spent a few minutes at halftime chatting and laughing with Wade as they stood near the Heat bench.
So both seemed happy, but once again, only Wade walked off in Miami with the win.
Cavaliers: James played in his 900th regular-season game. … Cleveland lost for only the fifth time in James’ last 28 appearances. … Kevin Love (rest) sat out for the second straight night, and is expected to play Wednesday when Cleveland returns home to meet Brooklyn. … James made a 3-pointer with 3:40 left to get Cleveland within 94-81, but the outcome was never in serious doubt.
Heat: Miami has won nine straight home games against the Cavaliers. … The 18-point halftime lead was Miami’s largest of the season, topping the 54-37 edge it had at the break against Indiana on Jan. 23. … Whiteside finished with his 16th double-double. … Wade was 6 for 7 from the field in the second quarter, while Cleveland was 6 for 18.
Cavaliers: Host Brooklyn on Wednesday.
Heat: Host Portland on Wednesday.MORE NEWS: Report: South Florida Counties Have High COVID Levels, Despite CDC Numbers
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