LeBron returns to Cleveland Part II
By Sports Network
|Miami Heat forward LeBron James drives the lane against the Houston Rockets during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Miami, Florida March 27, 2011. (REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity)
One could bet Cleveland fans will be extremely vocal when their former beloved NBA star, LeBron James, makes his second return to the Forest City tonight in a matchup between the Heat and Cavaliers at the Q.
James, aka The King, sent Cavaliers fans and local businesses into a frenzy when he made his "decision" this offseason to play with the Miami Heat. Jerseys were torched, posters were torn and countless hearts were broken when James officially decided to move on, and the fans let him hear about it back on Dec. 2 at Quicken Loans Arena.
However, it was James, an Akron, OH native, who enjoyed the last laugh in that 118-90 blowout of the Cavs to the tune of 38 points on 15-of-25 shooting in only 30:02 of play. He scored 24 points in the third quarter alone in his first game back in the city where he competed for seven years and captured back-to-back MVP awards. James didn't even play the fourth quarter in that one. He had 21 points in a win over Cleveland at Miami on Dec. 15, then netted 24 more in another South Beach victory on Jan. 31.
Miami is trying to sweep a season series from the Cavaliers for the first time since winning all three matchups in the 2004-05 campaign. Despite the lack of success in the 2010-11 season series, Cleveland is still 9-4 in the past 13 encounters with the Heat, losers in 10 of 13 road games in this series.
The Southeast Division-leading Heat will kick off a four-game road trip Tuesday in Cleveland and are also slated to visit the Wizards, Timberwolves and Nets. They are 23-12 away from AmericanAirlines Arena and have won five straight overall and eight of nine games, including Sunday's 125-119 triumph over the visiting Houston Rockets. James finished with a game-high 33 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Chris Bosh had 31 points and 12 boards.
"That was a fan's delight but a coach's nightmare," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We're getting a lot more aggressive and committing to getting paint attacks rather than settling."
Dwyane Wade rounded out the 30-point scorers with exactly 30 points for the playoff-bound Heat, who are tied with Boston at two games behind idle Chicago for the top seed in the East. The Celtics are also off Tuesday night. Wade is listed as probable for with a bruised tailbone and three-point specialist Mike Miller (knee) is questionable.
Cleveland will miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2004-05 campaign and is set to wrap up the final homestand of the season tonight. It is 1-3 so far on the five-game residency and lost for the ninth time in 11 tries with Sunday's 99-83 setback versus the Atlanta Hawks.
Baron Davis tied his highest scoring output as a Cavalier with 19 points and seven assists in a reserve role, Ramon Sessions netted 13 points and Daniel Gibson added 11 off the bench for the Cavs, who are just 9-28 at home in 2010-11. They were 35-6 as the host a year ago.
"We just didn't come out with the energy and aggressiveness that we needed to come out with for whatever reason," said Cleveland head coach Byron Scott.
Cavs forward Samardo Samuels is expected to miss tonight's game because of a balky right wrist. Samuels had nine points against the Hawks in 21:41 of play.