Eugene Doom Blog
Cavaliers Top LeBron, Heat 102-90
In an unbearable season of losses, Cleveland got the win it wanted most.
The Cavaliers took down LeBron James.
Despite blowing a 23-point lead, the Cavs battled back and beat the Miami Heat 102-90 on Tuesday night, getting a dose of revenge against James, who was making his second homecoming visit to Cleveland since leaving last summer.
J.J. Hickson scored 21 and Anthony Parker scored 20 for the Cavs, who were embarrassed by James and the Heat 118-90 on Dec. 2 — a night when Cleveland fans unleashed their hatred on the superstar.
This time, James left the floor hanging his head. He finished with 27 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
In the closing seconds, a sellout crowd of 20,562 cut loose at a victory even the most loyal Cleveland fan couldn't have imagined. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, who accused James of quitting in last year's playoffs after the two-time MVP announced he was joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in a poorly conceived TV special, high-fived anyone within reach.
On the floor afterward, Parker, whose last 3-pointer with 2:47 left capped a 12-0 run and put the Heat away, addressed Cavs fans.
"You guys deserve it," he said.
The Cavaliers were a different team — literally — from the one that laid down against the Heat here in December. Injuries and trades have reduced Cleveland's roster to a shell of the one James played with and helped win 60 games last season.
The Heat nearly rallied from 23 down, and tied it at 83-all on Mike Bibby's seventh 3-pointer with 7:03 left. But Miami, which wasted a chance to move into second place in the Eastern Conference standings, went scoreless for 4:24, allowed the Cavs to get their 15th win and post their most lopsided win this season.
Wade added 24 for the Heat, who had their winning streak stopped at five.
Cleveland shot 56 percent from the field, a number that Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will certainly use to motivate his team to play better defense as it gets ready for the postseason.