CLEVELAND (AP) — As shot after shot dropped through the net, it became clear LeBron James was going to have one of those special nights. The kind he has every so often.
The kind he has when Dwyane Wade sits. James scored 43 points – 25 in a bewildering first-quarter shooting display – and Chris Bosh added 21, leading the Miami Heat to a 100-96 win Tuesday night over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who played their first game without injured All-Star guard Kyrie Irving.
With Wade out resting his sore knees, James took it upon himself to carry the Heat. The same thing happened on March 3 and James responded then by scoring a career-high 61 against Charlotte.
“I don’t know, it’s one of those zones,” James said, trying to explain how he made 10 of 11 shots and five 3-pointers in the opening quarter. “When I started the game off, I felt like I could have gone for 50 or 60,” he said.
James added two crucial blocks and dropped six free throws in the final two minutes and Bosh had a key rejection to lead the Heat to just their third win in eight games.
With Wade out, the Heat’s two other megastars picked up the slack.After one quarter, it was: James 25, Cavs 25. The Heat were scheduled to play the Celtics this Wednesday in Boston.