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Recap: Hot start from LeBron helps fuel Heat to win in Cleveland

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LeBron James scored 25 points in the first quarter, but it was a late stretch of defensive stops that propelled the Heat to the win in Cleveland.

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It almost seemed as though it was going to be one of those nights again. LeBron James came out sizzling, scoring 25 points in the first quarter. He was hot, knocking down off balanced one legged shots, three-pointers and a buzzer beater to the end the quarter. 10-11 shooting for LeBron, with his only miss a deep heat check.

But LeBron cooled off, so to say. He ended up with 43 points on the way to the win, but Cleveland had leads in the fourth quarter. Shooting a blistering 63% at one point in the game, the Cavs who are the worst shooting team in the league, were getting to the paint and punishing Miami. They shot 51% for the game and beat the Heat on the glass by 5. But it was Miami's defense that saved them in this game.

LeBron had another of those moments that will be on his career highlights. Late in the game, Spencer Hawes went up for a dunk and LeBron met him at the top and blocked it cleanly. It reminded us that James can be the rim protector when he wants to be. Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem both had late blocks that helped seal the win for the Heat.


Miami won the game 100-96 after LeBron sealed the game from the free throw line.

"In order for us to win and win long term, we have to defend" said James.

"The 4th quarter was our best quarter on both ends. That was very encouraging" said Spoelstra after the game.

"His (LeBron) energy was outstanding. Everybody knew he was ready to compete and he was doing it on both ends." -Coach Spoelstra

Greg Oden got his second consecutive start and he was effective. In 14 minutes, he had 6 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steal and 2 blocks. It included a very nice finish at the rim from a PNR. "G.O. is getting into a good groove right now" said James after the game.

Chris Bosh played a strong game with 21 points and 6 rebounds. He had several crucial baskets in the fourth that helped Miami grab the win. Bosh also seemed to buckle his knee on a drive to the rim. He went down in pain, but got up, made his free throws and remained in the game. 14 points off the bench for Ray Allen ended his two game streak of 20+ points.

The Cavaliers had 6 players in double figures, led by 22 from Jarrett Jack. They were missing Luol Deng and All-Star MVP Kyrie Irving. Miami played without Dwyane Wade (Rest) as well.

The Heat improved to 46-19 and play Wednesday night in Boston against the Celtics.