MIAMI (AP) — LeBron James and the Miami Heat benefited from their three-day break, beginning a five-game homestand with a hard-fought win over a pesky opponent.
James scored 25 points against his former team, leading the energized Heat to a 114-107 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night.
Dwyane Wade added 24 points and Chris Bosh had 22 for the Heat, idle since a 90-84 loss Tuesday at Indiana. They squandered a 19-point third-quarter lead in this one and rallied from a two-point deficit with eight unanswered points late in the fourth quarter.
"We were flying around throughout the whole game," James said. "Even though they made their run and slowed us down in the third quarter, you could tell how we were able to finish the game in the fourth quarter."
Ray Allen's two free throws with 2:16 remaining capped the run and put the Heat ahead 106-100. Mario Chalmers' corner 3-pointer with 1:36 left increased the lead to 109-101.
"We're a team that has the ability to take it up a notch," Wade said. "It helps because we were at home. It was between winning and losing, and we wanted to win."
Bosh had a season-high 12 rebounds and James was one rebound and assist short of a triple-double.
"I wanted to be more consistent with my rebounding and be in the right spot at the right time," Bosh said.
Kyrie Irving scored 19 points, and Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters each had 16 for the Cavaliers, who played the second half without coach Mike Brown. He was ejected late in the second quarter after he stormed onto the court looking for a foul on Shane Battier's block of Thompson's layup. Referee Sean Wright gave Brown two technicals, resulting in an ejection with 3:14 remaining in the period.
"When you come into their building, you know you are probably not going to get too many calls," Brown said. "I thought Tristan got hit when he went up to dunk the ball. He is 6-10 and he got bent backward like that. He doesn't bend backward because he missed a dunk.
"I thought he got hit. I lost it there."
The Cavaliers used Brown's ejection as a rallying cry in the second half.
"We lost our leader with Coach Brown going out," Irving said. "We pulled it together. We all believe in one another and that if we continue to fight and get stops we could tie it up and we did."