Cleveland, OH – LeBron James tried to soften the blow earlier shattering departure from Cleveland. On Friday time league MVP came back to Ohio and led the Heat to their fifth straight blowout win on the road.
Miami has won by at least 15 points in each of its last five contests. That includes a trio of victories in a three-night span.
Earlier this week, when asked if he would play for the Cavaliers again after a brutal divorce from the team he was drafted by in 2003 James said, "you can't predict the future. And if I decide to come back, hopefully the fans will accept me."
Fans didn't voice their approval on Friday night. James was booed pretty much every time he touched the ball, although he did provide the capacity crowd with some highlight-reel plays, including a thunderous one-handed alley-oop dunk that opened an 11-0 Miami lead.
"It's special coming back here," James said after the game. "I know these fans, they know me. They know how competitive I am. I just try to go out there and lead my team to victory every night. I try to do what I can offensively and defensively. It's definitely special every time I come back here."
The Heat never trailed and moved to 6-1 against the Cavaliers since James signed with Miami during the summer of 2010. That lone defeat came the last time the clubs faced off at the 'Q' last March 29, 102-90, but this time the Heat were firing on all cylinders and dominated from start to finish.
"We hope this isn't our only step forward now, only breakthrough" Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Other teams in the Eastern Conference are improving and we hope we're one of those as well."
Kyrie Irving scored 17 for the Cavaliers, who lost for the third time in four contests. They were without guards Daniel Gibson (sprained left ankle) and Anthony Parker (back spasms). Also, center Anderson Varejao (broken wrist) is out for at least six weeks.
Wade scored 11 of his points in a dominating first quarter, when the Heat shot 63.6 percent. Meanwhile, the Cavs shot just 5-of-19 in the period. Wade's pass to James resulted in a one-handed alley-oop slam that put the Cavs in their early 11-point hole.
It only got worse for Byron Scott's team.
Wade went 1-of-2 from the charity stripe later in the quarter for a 21-2 cushion and the Heat held a 35-14 advantage after 12 minutes.
"Very simple, we just looked like we were scared to death," Scott said.
James squeezed between defenders to score a layup with 4:20 left in the second. It resulted in a three-point play for a 53-27 margin, and Miami took a 63-38 lead to the locker room.
With nearly eight minutes left in the third, James showed off his defensive ability, sending back Irving's layup attempt. A few minutes later, James delivered a thunderous jam and he followed with a three-pointer for Miami's biggest lead of the night, 83-49.
James had 16 points in the third quarter.
"I definitely tried to make a statement (in) the game and I definitely did that in the third quarter," he said. "My teammates kept finding me and I kept knocking down shots. It makes me feel good."
Holding a 90-67 lead going into the fourth, Miami cruised to victory.