In the midst of 20,000 booing Cleveland fans, the Miami Heat claimed a 118-90 victory over the Cavaliers Thursday night. The Miami Heat build momentum as they claim their third consecutive win.
Cleveland fans littered the “Q” arena with anti-LeBron signs and T-Shirts like “Traitors Don’t Leave Legacies,” “LeQuitter” and the “Lyin King.” But nothing could stop the “Big Three,” as they dominated the Cavaliers effortlessly quarter by quarter.
LeBron James led the Heat with a game high of 38 points, five rebounds and eight assists. Dwyane Wade added 22 points while Chris Bosh scored 15 points for the Heat.
Daniel Gibson led the Cavaliers with 21 points, followed by Antawn Jamison, Ramon Sessions and Mo Williams each scoring 11 points.
One of the most anticipated NBA games of the season brought with it heightened security and the burning of LeBron James paraphernalia. The deafening boos of Cleveland fans occurred at each attempted shot by LeBron.
Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, James seemed unfazed by their constant banter. Prior to his return to Cleveland, LeBron said in a statement, “I understand what this game is all about and I understand the pressure, you know with this game brings.” The “pressure” was heard, but wasn’t felt by LeBron, as he made 24 of his 38 points in the third quarter.
Dwyane Wade added the first two points to the score board with an aggressive dunk. The Cavaliers trailed the Heat by seven points at the end of the first quarter. The decline in Cleveland’s offense in the second quarter marked the slump that contributed to Cleveland’s loss. The Heat led the third quarter with a 20-point lead, making the score 59-39.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers shot 34 percent while the Heat shot just under 60 percent. Cleveland’s fate was then sealed when the Heat led by 30 points in the third quarter. Daniel Gibson made nearly half of his 21 game points in the fourth quarter, while James sat out the fourth quarter as the Heat continued their strong lead over Cleveland.
LeBron’s “Decision”marked the end to seven years with the Cavaliers and the beginning of Cleveland’s hatred for their former “King.” LeBron’s decision to join the Miami Heat garnished choice words from Cleveland fans and even Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. “This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown ‘chosen one’ sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And ‘who’ we would want them to grow-up to become,” said Gilbert in an open letter addressed to Cleveland fans.
The hatred for LeBron continued to escalate when, in October of this year, James teamed up with Nike to create a controversial ad titled “Lebron Rise” which was littered with “What should I do?” questions. Less than two weeks after the debut of the ad, Cleveland answered his questions through the Cleveland response video, which depicted the lingering betrayal felt by Cleveland fans.
Despite the animosity from Cleveland fans Thursday night, “We came in here with one goal and that was to win a basketball game, and we did that…It was a good night for our team,” said James in a post-game interview. The win over Cleveland brings the Heat standings to 12-8 and the Cavaliers 7-11.
Miami Heat vs. Cleveland. TNT. 2 Dec. 2010
Heat’s LeBron James braces for return to Cleveland.Sun-Sentinel
Dan Glibert’s open letter to fans: Jame’s decision s ‘cowardly betrayal’ and owner promises a title before Heat. Cleveland
Devine, Dan Video: Clevelanders respond to LeBron James. Yahoo
2010-2011 Division Regular Season Standings.NBA