Cavs 102, Heat 86.
In a nutshell:
Here's where everyone should ask themselves "Is there nothing LeBron James can't do on the basketball court?"
Apparently the answer is no. The Cavs were without all three of their point guards as Daniel Gibson missed the first half to be with his fiancee who had been admitted to the hospital. Gibson is engaged to R&B singer Keyshia Cole and they are expecting a child.
James played the first half point and ran the team magnificently, scoring 19 points in the process and getting his teammates involved. By the end of the first half, eight Cavs had scored in the game.
But playing the point also allowed him to drive the ball more and it showed in the stat line he went to the foul line a total of 21 times. He sank 17 of those free throw shots.
Once Gibson entered the game in second half, James was free to play more like observers are used to seeing.
Gibson ran his streak of scoring into double figures to seven and Shaquille O'Neal continued to play aggressively around the basket.
Game: Cavs (40-11) vs. Miami Heat (24-26)
TV: TNT Radio: WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)
Cavs: LeBron James (F); J.J. Hickson(F); Shaquille O'Neal (C); Anthony Parker (G); Daniel Gibson (G).
Heat: Quentin Richardson (F); Michael Beasley (F); Jermaine O'Neal (C); Dwyane Wade (G); Rafer Alston (G).
Cavs: Leon Powe (left knee surgery), Delonte West (left ring finger), Mo Williams (sprained left shoulder) - OUT.
Heat: Mario Chalmers (sprained left thumb).
Officials: Bob Delaney, Brian Forte, Ed Malloy.
The last game was a squeaker with the Cavs pulling the game out courtesy of a steal by LeBron James. The Cavs looked and played a bit sluggishly from the outset, trailing for most of the game. Daniel Gibson, Anderson Varejao and Shaquille O'Neal played well, but the rest of the team struggled.
The highlight of course, was the duel on both sides of the court between Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. In each of the two meetings between the teams, both players have scored in the 30s. If James has any rivalry - friendly or otherwise - with anyone in the NBA, it's with Wade. Given those past two games, there's little reason to expect otherwise tonight.
Once again, Gibson's and O'Neal's play will be integral to a Cavs win as they go for their 10th win in a row - their first double-digit win streak of the year.