CLEVELAND — Forward LeBron James fired in 43 points, leading the Miami Heat to a 100-96 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena.
James scored 25 points in the first quarter. For the game, he converted 14 of 19 shots from the field, including six of eight from 3-point range.
Point guard Jarrett Jack paced the Cavaliers with a season-high 22 points. Cleveland shooting guard Dion Waiters, making his first start since Nov. 13, recorded his first career double-double with 17 points and 11 assists.
The short-handed Cavaliers (26-42) had six players score in double figures.
Cleveland, playing without its top two scorers, guard Kyrie Irving (strained biceps tendon) and forward Luol Deng (sprained ankle), also got 16 points and 11 rebounds from center Anderson Varejao.
Cavaliers forward Alonzo Gee had 12 points, and center Spencer Hawes added 11 points and nine rebounds.
James, who played seven years with the Cavaliers, now has a 13-1 record against his old team since he left in 2010. The Heat (46-19) beat the Cavaliers for the 10th time in a row.
Back-to-back baskets by All-Star forward Chris Bosh, who scored 12 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, handed the Heat a 93-88 advantage with 2:20 to play.
Guard Ray Allen added 14 points for Miami, which lost five of its previous seven games.
The Cavaliers shot 51.4 percent from the field and outrebounded the Heat 41-36. However, they committed 20 turnovers, which led to 26 Miami points. The Heat shot 45.3 percent but gave the ball away only 14 times, leading to 13 points.
The teams were tied at 79 after three quarters, with the Cavaliers shooting 59.6 percent from the field.
James was unstoppable in the first quarter. He converted 10 of 11 shots from the field, five of six from beyond the 3-point arc.
He helped the Heat to a 37-25 advantage after the first quarter.
The Cavaliers sliced their deficit to 59-54 at halftime.
NOTES: Cavaliers G Kyrie Irving will be shut down for two weeks with a strained left biceps tendon. He is happy that he does not need surgery, but he does not know if he will see the court again this season. Irving was injured in Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers. He was replaced in the starting lineup by Dion Waiters. … Heat F LeBron James was asked point blank if he would ever return to Cleveland. “It’s too hard to think about,” he said. “Only time will tell.” … Former Ohio State C Greg Oden made his third start of the season for the Heat, including the last two games. “With the sheer size he brings to the game, there are benefits,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. … Cavaliers F Luol Deng missed Tuesday’s game with a sprained left ankle. He rolled the ankle in Sunday’s game against the Clippers. Alonzo Gee started at small forward for the Cavaliers. Swingman C.J. Miles (sprained left ankle) returned to the Cavaliers’ lineup after missing the previous 12 games. … Heat G Dwyane Wade was given the night off. He was replaced in the starting lineup by G Toney Douglas. … James said new Knicks president Phil Jackson will bring a “championship pedigree” to the team. “He’s been through everything,” he said. “He’s had so much success in his career.”
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