NBA Game Summary - Cleveland at Miami
(Monday, January 25th)
Final Score: Cleveland 92, Miami 91
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - LeBron James came up with a crucial steal and drained a pair of free throws with 4.1 seconds remaining as Cleveland squeaked by Miami, 92-91, all while shutting down Heat star Dwyane Wade in the second half.
James had 32 points and nine rebounds for the Cavaliers, who won their fifth straight contest. Shaquille O'Neal added 19 points, while Daniel Gibson scored 15. Anderson Varejao tallied 13 points and 10 boards.
Wade scored 32 points and had 10 rebounds, but he scored just two in the second half on 1-of-8 shooting over the final 24 minutes. He also missed a potential winning shot at the buzzer and accounted for the critical turnover in the final seconds on a poor behind-the-back pass. Wade also missed a pair of foul shots in the closing minute.
Jermaine O'Neal ended with 18 points and eight rebounds for Miami, which had a two-game winning streak broken. The Heat went 1-of-6 from the foul line in the fourth quarter.
Udonis Haslem scored on a drive to the hoop with 1:05 remaining for a 91-90 Miami lead. James then missed a three-point try and Wade was fouled going for the rebound, but was then off the mark on both foul shots with 41.2 seconds left.
James' quick shot from the right baseline was blocked by Wade, but last year's MVP got revenge. Wade attempted a behind-the-back pass, but James stole the ball and dribbled the other way before missing a layup and was fouled by Quentin Richardson. James and Wade tumbled hard to the ground with 4.1 seconds left.
After James made both attempts, Wade's jumper from near the top of the arc clanked off the rim as time expired.
"I got hit in the head," James said. "I'm not sure how. It was difficult, but I was able to get up and knock down two free throws."
It was a highlight-reel first half as far as the game's two superstars were concerned. Miami led by as many as 14 in the first quarter and gained a 34-24 lead after 12 minutes. James and Wade combined to score 24 straight points at one juncture for their respective teams in the second quarter. By halftime, Wade had 30 points and James 22.
Miami actually missed its first 12 shots of the second quarter and finished 5- of-19 for the period. Their first field goal came on a Wade jumper with 3:38 left in the half, as the Heat restored the lead at 40-39. Miami later pushed the margin to seven on a Wade three-ball, but James nailed one from beyond the arc with 1.2 seconds left for a 54-50 halftime difference.
"The competition is great," Wade said. "At the end of the day we understand it's a team game and I think the second half proved that. It's a little bit of anything you can do I can do better. It's fun for the fans and as long as we aren't doing anything outside of what our team wants us to do it's good for the team. It was probably one of the best second quarters I've had."
The Heat pushed their lead to 65-54 in the early stages of the third, but the Cavs came back with an ensuing 13-2 spurt to tie the game on a Varejao jam with under three minutes left. It was 69-67 Heat moving to the fourth.
Miami built an 87-81 lead with 4:33 left following Wade's lone basket of the second half, but the Heat faltered down the stretch.
Cleveland has won four straight and eight of the last nine meetings...Michael Beasley scored 16 for Miami, which also got 10 apiece from Haslem and Rafer Alston...The Heat were just 17-of-29 at the foul line, while the Cavs weren't much better at 19-of-28...Wade went 9-of-16 from the charity stripe...At 35-11 on the season, Cleveland has the NBA's best record and a four-game edge over Boston for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
01/25 23:47:09 ET