Sun, Feb 19, 2012 - Page 19 News List

NBA: James laps up boos as Heat blast Cavs

WELCOME HOME:Cleveland fans gave LeBron James a warm welcome, with boos and heckles, as the former Cavaliers player helped put a pounding on his old team


The Miami Heat’s LeBron James looks on during the first quarter of their NBA game against his former team the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland, Ohio, on Friday.

Photo: Reuters

The Miami Heat, led by LeBron James, torched the Cleveland Cavaliers 111-87 on Friday to record their fifth consecutive road win in front of an unforgiving crowd.

James scored 16 of his game-high 28 points in the third quarter as the Heat extended their lead to as many as 34 points before he sat out the fourth.

James was booed loudly again by the Cleveland fans who have not forgiven him for leaving the team in 2010.

“It’s always special coming back here,” James told reporters. “I know these fans, they know me. They know how competitive I am. I just try and lead my team to victory every night. It’s definitely special every time I come back here.”

The Southeast Division leading Heat (24-7) scored the first 11 points of the game and never let up in the dominant performance over the undermanned Cavaliers.

Cleveland (11-17) were without Andreson Varajeo, who was missing with a broken right wrist, and guard Daniel Gibson (sprained left ankle).

“It was very simple: It looked like we were scared to death,” Cavaliers coach Byron Scott told reporters. “They came out with great energy and great effort and we didn’t match it whatsoever. It just seemed like the lights were too bright for a lot of guys.”

Dwyane Wade scored 22 points before joining James on the bench for the entire fourth quarter. Chris Bosh, the third member of Miami’s “big three,” recorded a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Rookie guard Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 17 points, while Ramon Sessions scored 15 points off the bench.


In Memphis, Tennessee, Dante Cunningham tipped in a basket with less than a second left to lift Memphis over Denver.

Andre Miller’s inbounds pass with 0.2 seconds left for the Nuggets was batted away at the rim, allowing Memphis to win their third straight despite blowing a 23-point second-half lead.

Rudy Gay had 20 points to lead six Grizzlies players in double figures. O.J. Mayo finished with 17.

Corey Brewer keyed the Nuggets’ rally by scoring a season-high 26 points, all in the second half, on 10-of-14 shooting.


In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the hosts completed a season sweep of Golden State.

James Harden scored 25 points and Kevin Durant added 23 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Thunder, who lost Russell Westbrook to a sprained ankle in the third quarter.

Still, the Thunder improved to 23-7, the best record in the Western Conference, with their third win over the Warriors in 22 days.

David Lee led Golden State with 23 points.


In Orlando, Florida, Dwight Howard had 26 points and 20 rebounds as Orlando rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Milwaukee.

It was Howard’s seventh 20-point, 20-rebound game of the season. Ryan Anderson added 23 points, including four three-pointers, for the Magic, who have won four straight overall and 12 in a row at home against the Bucks.

Carlos Delfino’s 16 points led the Bucks, who have lost four in a row.


In Toronto, Reggie Williams scored a season-high 22 points to help Charlotte snap a 16-game losing streak by beating Toronto.

All of Williams’ points came in the first three quarters. He did not play in the fourth.

D.J. Augustin had 11 points and 10 assists as the Bobcats won for the first time in more than a month.

DeMar DeRozan scored 24 for the Raptors, who have lost four straight and five in a row to Charlotte.

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