OHIO – The Miami Heat overturned a 27-point deficit to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-95 and extend their winning streak to 24 games at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland last night.
The Heat (53-14) extended their winning streak to 24 games in a row. Miami haven’t lost since February 1, a span of 47 days.
James recorded his fourth triple-double of the season with 25 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, all game highs.
The Cavs blew a 27-point lead, the largest in franchise history in a losing effort.
“Down 27, none of us were happy about it,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We caught lightning in a bottle.
“We had to take big home-run plays to get us back in the game. That’s part of our greatness.”
The Cavs (22-46) were playing without Kyrie Irving (sprained left shoulder), Dion Waiters (sore left knee) and Anderson Varejao (knee surgery). However, they led 67-40 with 7 minutes, 44 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Heat trailed by nine points after three quarters, 77-68.
However, James scored 11 of their first 12 points to take control of the contest. They blitzed the Cavs in the fourth, 30-18.
There were two delays in the action. The start of the game was delayed by 35 minutes with moisture on the floor.
“It was weird to have to go back into the locker room,” Cavs coach Byron Scott said. “We had to come out and warm up again.”
Then, with 8:21 left, a fan came out on the court to greet James wearing a T-shirt that read: “We miss you. Come back 2014.”
“He looked like he had a few too many beers,” Scott said.
James said he didn’t see the guy until it was too late.
“I didn’t see him until he was in my face,” he said. “I had no reaction.”
He said the comeback was fuelled by the Heat’s defence. They outscored the Cavs in the second half, 64-40.
Miami trailed by 21 points at halftime, 55-34. It proved to be the largest halftime deficit from which the Heat has ever come back.
Guard Mario Chalmers contributed 17 points for the Heat, while Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Battier all added 11.
Guard Wayne Ellington had a team-high 20 points for the Cavs, while Thompson finished with 18 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Center Tyler Zeller had a double-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and a block.
Other scores: Rockets 100, Jazz 93; Knicks 106, Magic 94; Hawks 98, Bucks 90; Nets 113, Mavericks 96; 76ers 72, Clippers 101; Wizards 88, Suns 79; Warriors 93, Spurs 104; Jazz 93, Rockets 100; Celtics 86, Hornets 87; Thunder 89, Grizzlies 90.