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(Tuesday, March 18th)
Final Score: Miami 100, Cleveland 96
Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - LeBron James' sixth return to Cleveland began with a bang. He seemingly couldn't miss.
James scored 25 of his 43 points in the first quarter and the Miami Heat defeated the Kyrie Irving-less Cleveland Cavaliers 100-96 on Tuesday.
James nailed his first four 3-point attempts and scored 16 points before he even missed a shot. He was 10-of-11 from the floor and knocked down five of his six tries from beyond the arc in the opening quarter.
"When we started the game off, I felt like I could have went for 50 or 60 points. I was just in one of those zones," James said.
James finished with 31 points in the first half and 14-of-19 from the field for the game to go with six rebounds, four assists and three blocks for Miami, which has won two in a row on the heels of a 1-5 stretch.
Chris Bosh had 12 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter for the Heat.
Dion Waiters provided 17 points and 11 assists for the Cavs, who have dropped six of their last eight games.
"Our guys hung in there and they competed," Cleveland head coach Mike Brown said.
The game was tied 88-88 with 3:43 left before Bosh hit a 3-pointer and dropped in a floater to put Miami up 93-88. Anderson Varejao then drove in for a layup at the other end, but James sunk two foul shots to make it 95-90 with 1:06 to go.
Waiters was unable to connect on a triple and then missed a layup before Bosh split a pair of free throws with 25.2 ticks remaining.
Jarrett Jack, who led Cleveland with 22 points, hit a three, but James knocked down all four of his bonus attempts to seal the outcome.
James' monstrous start staked the Heat to a 37-25 cushion, but the Cavs outscored them 29-22 in the second quarter to whittle the deficit to 59-54 heading into the break.
The game was knotted at 79-79 going into the fourth.
Miami's Dwyane Wade sat out to rest his knees. The Heat improved to 11-5 without him in the lineup this season ... The Heat tallied 26 points off 20 Cleveland turnovers.
03/19 00:22:15 ET