Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown protest a foul call against his team during the first half of a NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat in Miami, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
MIAMI — LeBron James scored 25 points against his former team, leading the Miami Heat to a 114-107 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight.
Dwyane Wade added 24 points and Chris Bosh had 22 for the Heat, who squandered a 19-point third-quarter lead and rallied from a two-point deficit with eight unanswered points late 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.
Kyrie Irving scored 19 points 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 Alonzo Gee’s layup. Referee Sean Wright gave Brown two technicals, resulting in an ejection with 3:14 remaining in the period.
Bosh had a season-high 12 rebounds and James was one rebound and assist short of a triple-double.
The Cavaliers erased a 19-point deficit early in the third quarter and outscored the Heat 28-16 in the period.
Jarret Jack’s jump shot with 8:03 remaining in the fourth gave the Cavaliers a 93-91 lead and their first advantage since midway through the first quarter. Cleveland increased the margin to four on Dion Waiters’ layup with 7:24 remaining.
The Cavaliers began their comeback with a 19-7 third-quarter spurt and got to 78-73 on Irving’s two free throws with 3:51 remaining in the period. Jack’s jumper with 1:48 left narrowed Miami’s lead to 81-78.
Miami built a six-point first-quarter lead and had its first double-digit advantage, 52-42, on Bosh’s dunk with 5:15 remaining in the second period. The Heat had an 18-3 run in the quarter and led 68-52 after Wade scored 20 points in the first half.
Bosh scored 13 in the quarter and his layup with 2:11 remaining gave the Heat their largest lead of the half at 62-45.
Irving hit two early 3-pointers as the Cavaliers went 4 of 4 from behind the arc in the first 3:15 of the game. His second 3 with 8:15 remaining in the quarter put Cleveland ahead 15-14.
NOTES: Allen’s first of two 3-pointers in the third quarter gave him 24,000 career points. ... Heat reserve forward Michael Beasley missed his fourth straight game because of a strained left hamstring. ... Cleveland’s bench scored 53 points following Friday night’s 60-point performance in Orlando.