Cavs brush off Heat to register 10th straight win

CLEVELAND, Ohio (Reuters) - The Cleveland Cavaliers took their winning streak into double figures with a 102-86 victory over a slumping Miami Heat Thursday, LeBron James sparking the 10th straight triumph with a 36-point haul.

Daniel Gibson also made a telling contribution in the second half after visiting his pregnant fiancee in hospital. He started the third quarter and finished with 12 points.

Cleveland (40-11) held a 56-52 lead at halftime before the NBA leaders pulled clear with a 10-0 run that spanned the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth.

Miami's Dwyane Wade scored 18 points in the first half but could only add six more in the second, losing a third straight duel against James, who also tallied eight assists and seven rebounds.

"We did not make any adjustments (on Wade), we just tried to be aware of where he is at all times and we did double him occasionally," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown told reporters. "We just tried to keep the lane crowded and stay in front of him."

The defeat was a fourth in a row for Miami (24-26), who have now dropped six of their last seven contests.

The Heat remained in contention in the first half as Wade and James waged a duel. James had 19 in the first two quarters that were reminiscent of their previous match-up on January 25 when each tallied 32 in a one-point Cleveland win.

This time James had his way, making 9-of-16 shots from the field and 17-of-21 free throws.

With guards Mo Williams and Delonte West both sidelined through injury, James has had to take on the added role of ball-handler for Cleveland.

Relishing the responsibility, he has averaged 11.6 assists per game in his last five games for the NBA-best Cavaliers.

"It's a sacrifice I have to make with our point guards being out. I have no choice but to handle the ball at certain points of the game -- I'll do whatever it takes for our team to win."

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)