Wade, Heat spoil James' return to Miami

Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Cheers quickly turned to boos once Michael Baiamonte announced the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers' starting lineup.

Dwyane Wade then went and shot the lights out in the first half.


And once LeBron James finally helped put the Cavs in front early in the fourth quarter, the Miami Heat had one last surge in them.

Wade netted 24 of his 31 points in the first half and the Heat spoiled James' return to South Beach with a 101-91 win over the Cavaliers.

James, who helped the Heat to a quartet of NBA Finals appearances and a pair of titles during his four-year stay with Miami, was the first Cleveland player introduced out of its starting five.

"I think these fans are great," James said. "They always showed their loyalty."

He was greeted with a standing ovation with a scattering of boos, but James wasn't able to fully sink in the reaction as Baiamonte quickly went through the rest of Cleveland's lineup.

The cheer was more elongated midway through the opening frame when the Heat played a video tribute. James, who was facing the Heat for the first time since signing with the Cavs during the offseason, acknowledged the applause by waving to the crowd.

"A lot of emotions come back," James said. "I spent four years here with those guys. Some guys (are) still here, some guys are not here. We put in a lot of hard work and dedication just to be the best we could."

James finished with 30 points and eight assists.

Wade was a blistering 10-of-16 in the first half, helping the Heat build a margin as high as 17 in the opening 24 minutes before they took a 13-point advantage into the locker room.

The start of the second half was delayed due to a power outage which caused the lights to go out. James and Wade were seen conversing, joking and laughing on the scorer's table while both teams were waiting for the second half to begin.

James' fastbreak dunk at the 11:20 mark of the fourth staked Cleveland to a 78-77 edge, but James was called for a technical for hanging on the rim and Wade sunk the foul shot to tie the game.

A 10-1 run later in the frame put the Heat in front for good. The Cavs missed nine consecutive shots during the surge, which was capped on a Chris Andersen layup with 4:07 left for a 90-81 cushion.

Mike Miller nailed a 3-pointer to claw Cleveland within 90-87 with three minutes on the clock, but Danny Granger knocked down a triple at the other end, Andersen converted a layup and Granger hit a jumper to up Miami's margin to 97-87 with 1:19 remaining.

Luol Deng posted 25 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for Miami, which has won two of three on the heels of a 2-4 stretch. They blew a 23-point lead and lost at home to Philadelphia Tuesday.

"Whenever you play on Christmas that means your team is good enough, and to win those games is phenomenal," Wade said.

Kyrie Irving, who suffered a left knee contusion in the fourth, supplied 25 points for the Cavaliers, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.

Earlier, Wade put in 12 first-quarter points and the Heat took a 30-27 lead into the second.

Shawne Williams hit a trey and jumper on consecutive trips down the floor to finish off a 10-1 spurt, staking Miami to a 40-28 margin early in the second. The spread ballooned to 60-43 once Wade knocked down a three and Miami led 62-49 at the break.

Cleveland scored seven straight points late in the third to help it whittle the gap to 73-71.

Miami took a 77-74 advantage into the final frame.

Game Notes

Wade was just 2-of-12 from the floor in the second half ... James was 10-of-18 from the foul line ... Chris Bosh missed his seventh straight game for Miami due to a left calf strain ... The Heat held a 44-28 points in the paint advantage.