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Heat beat James, Cavs in Miami

Mar 17, 2015 - 4:33 AM Miami, FL ( - LeBron James returned to Miami for the second time since his offseason departure, and for the second time he left with a loss.

Dwyane Wade scored 21 of his 32 points in the first half as the Miami Heat downed the Cleveland Cavaliers 106-92 on Monday night.

"(It) was a great atmosphere," said Wade. "When you're playing one of the greatest to ever play the game you gotta bring your best."

Goran Dragic supplied 20 points and nine assists, Hassan Whiteside had 16 points with 11 rebounds and three blocks and Mario Chalmers added 16 points off the bench for the Heat.

Miami entered play a half-game back of the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.

James, who scored 30 points in a 101-91 loss during his initial return to South Beach on Christmas Day, posted 26 points on 8-of-19 shooting on Monday. The four-time MVP led Miami to the NBA Finals in each of his four seasons with the Heat before continuing his career where it all began.

Cleveland won the second meeting of the season between the two teams, a 113-93 decision back on Feb. 11.

James received treatment on his right knee prior to the game after tweaking it in Cleveland's 123-108 win over Orlando on Sunday.

The Cavs ended a four-game road trip with a loss that snapped its four-game winning streak.

"You take something from it. You learn from your mistakes," said James. "This was a tough stretch for us, and I think our legs kind of just gave out."

Kyrie Irving totaled 21 points and six assists in the setback.

Wade and Luol Deng each missed a shot on Miami's first two possessions, then the Heat reeled off eight straight baskets to jump out to a 17-7 lead. Tristan Thompson made a pair of buckets later on as part of a 13-4 Cleveland run that tied the game. Chalmers scored the final five points of the first to send Miami into the second with a 27-22 edge.

The Cavs got back within four past the midway point of the second, but the Heat ended the final 5:15 of the quarter on a 19-5 run for a 56-38 advantage at halftime.

Wade was an efficient 8-of-11 from the field over the opening 24 minutes for Miami, which held Cleveland to 35.7 percent shooting in the first half.

The Heat continued to keep the pressure on the Cavs, leading by as many as 25 in the third and having no trouble closing it out in the fourth.

Game Notes

The halftime deficit was the largest of the season for Cleveland ... Cavs forward Kevin Love missed the contest to rest ... Miami shot 55.3 percent for the game and held Cleveland to 38 percent shooting ... The Heat held a 44-32 edge in the paint.