CLEVELAND — LeBron James watched from the bench in street clothes as Norris Cole stripped Kyrie Irving of the ball with 2.2 seconds left to give the Miami Heat, resting most of their top players for the playoffs, a 96-95 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight.
Cole finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists. But it was his only steal on Cleveland's final possession that sealed it.
James was disappointed to not play in another homecoming game against his former team, but he appreciated coach Erik Spoelstra's desire to get the NBA champions as healthy and refreshed as possible heading into the postseason.
Chris Bosh and Mario Chalmers joined James on the bench while Dwyane Wade, Shane Battier and Udonis Haslem stayed back in Miami with minor injuries.