Heat 109, Cavaliers 105By Walter Villa, The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Sun, Feb 24, 2013 8:50 PM EST
MIAMI -- The Miami Heat, the hottest team in the NBA, extended their winning streak to 11 games, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 109-105 Sunday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. The Heat led by as many as 22 points, but the Cavs rallied to take a five-point lead in the fourth quarter. Shane Battier hit a 3-pointer with 1:27 left to give the Heat a 103-101 lead. After LeBron James missed a layup, Dwyane Wade got the tap-back and drove the lane for dunk to give the Heat a 105-101 lead with 24 seconds left to seal the deal. James led the Heat with a game-high 28 points, making 10 of 19 shots from the field. He also had eight assists. Wade, who had 33 points in Philadelphia on Saturday, had 24 points, including 15 in the fourth quarter. Teammate Chris Bosh had just seven points but added four blocks. From the middle of the third quarter to early in the fourth, the Cavaliers put together a 28-6 run to take an 88-83 lead with 9:30 left in the game. C.J. Miles came off the bench to score 11 points in the third quarter, including three 3-pointers. Kyrie Irving also had 10 points in the quarter. Miles finished with 19 points, Irving had 17 points and five assists, and Dion Waiters had a team-high 26 points. Miami got key contributions from some of its role players, including guards Mario Chalmers, Ray Allen and Shane Battier. Chalmers had 16 points and made four of five 3-point attempts. Allen had 11 points and made all three of his 3-point tries. Battier had 14 points and made four of seven 3-pointers. The Heat, 41-2 since last season when shooting over 50 percent, hit 52 percent Sunday. The Cavaliers shot an even 50 percent. The Heat shot a blistering 57.5 percent in the first half, taking a 64-46 lead into the locker room. Miami made eight of 10 3-pointers in the first half and led by as many as 20 points. NOTES: The Cavaliers are without reserve forward Omri Casspi, who complained of stomach pain Saturday and was rushed to a hospital in Orlando. Cavs coach Byron Scott said Casspi had surgery to remove his appendix. ... Heat reserve wing Mike Miller, who missed the past three weeks due to an inner-ear infection, was available Sunday, according to coach Erik Spoelstra. "He can't hear anything we're saying," Spoelstra said, "but he's back with us." ... Rumors are rampant that James could leave the Heat in the summer of 2014, when he has an opt-out clause in his contract, and return home to Ohio to play once again for the Cavaliers. A year ago, James said a potential return to his home state "would be great. It would be fun to play in front of those fans again. I don't know what the future holds, but I wouldn't take that option out." More recently, James said Heat fans have nothing to worry about "at this time." ... The appeal for James goes beyond coming home. The Cavs have a young point guard, Irving, who is quickly becoming a star. "It was awesome to play with Kyrie," James said at last weekend's All-Star Game. "He's going to be unbelievable."
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