James, Cavs handle the Heat
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – LeBron James poured in 41 points and handed
out 10 assists, as Cleveland downed Miami, 115-107, at Quickens Loan Arena.
Donyell Marshall posted a season-high 25 points and 13 rebounds for the
Cavaliers, who have won two straight following a three-game slide. Larry
Hughes added 20 points and six assists in the win.
Dwyane Wade netted 33 points and dished out seven helpers for the Heat, who
had a four-game winning streak halted. Alonzo Mourning had 14 points and James
Posey contributed 13 in the loss.
All-Star center Shaquille O’Neal was plagued by foul trouble throughout the
night and finished with only 10 points and six rebounds for Miami, which also
lost for the first time under new head coach Pat Riley (3-1).
Riley took over the team earlier in the week after Stan Van Gundy resigned to
spend more time with his family.
Cleveland jumped out to a 12-3 lead, keyed by five points from James, but
Miami clawed within two late in the first quarter and trailed 22-18 after one.
In the second period, though, the Cavaliers opened the game up as Drew
Gooden’s basket with around four minutes left staked the home team to a nine-
point edge. Cleveland continued to distance itself as it used an 11-0 spurt
later in the stanza to build a commanding 55-38 advantage. Hughes highlighted
the big run with eight points, which included a pair of threes, as the
Cavaliers eventually took a 61-44 lead into the locker room.
The Heat trailed 93-73 after three quarters, but mounted a comeback.
Down by 22 early in the fourth period, Miami used a 14-0 spurt to close within
95-87. Mourning netted six points, while Gerald Fitch contributed five to
bring the Heat within eight with around eight minutes left.
Miami closed to within four at 111-107 late in the game, but could not get any
closer as the Cavs scored the final four points from the foul line.
James, who had 16 points in the fourth quarter, has scored at least 40 twice
this season and is averaging 36.8 points in his last six games…The Cavs were
24-of-31 from the foul line, aided by James’ 15-of-16 effort from the charity
stripe. Miami hit on just 15-of-24 foul shots…Cleveland is 9-3 at home this
year…Miami was looking to win five straight games for the first time since
ripping off 11 consecutive victories from February 27-March 19, 2005…The
Heat had won three straight in the series…Miami finished 3-1 on its four-
game road trip…Gooden left in the second quarter with a sprained ankle.