for this game

James, Cavaliers storm back late to upend Heat

Dec 29, 2008 - 4:21 AM By Jeff Brewer PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- Two days shy of his 24th birthday, LeBron James celebrated early as the Cleveland Cavaliers remained undefeated at home.

James collected 33 points and nine assists as the Cavaliers rallied from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to win their sixth straight game, 93-86, over the Miami Heat on Sunday night. With the win, they improved to 16-0 at Quicken Loans Arena this season.

"You can tell that the fans are so into it," James said. "They don't want us to lose all season."

James got the better of his Olympic teammate Dwyane Wade in their first meeting since winning the gold medal together in Beijing. They will meet again Tuesday in Miami.

Wade had a brilliant second half to finish with 29 points and eight assists. But as much as the two stars shined brightly, the difference maker was Cavalier guard Mo Williams, who went for 20 points before fouling out with 1:29 left.

"I've never been scared to take a shot, especially a big shot," Williams said. "Honestly, I feel that if I get a good look and I get it off right away, I feel like I'm going to make it."

After a 14-point third quarter, Wade found himself guarded by James as the two marquee players went head-to-head.

"Every time we play them, LeBron comes to defend me in the fourth, but it's not a one-on-one matchup," Wade said. "We're coming off pick and rolls, and they're blitzing me off the ball."

James acknowledged it was a team effort.

"We try to contain him with a big by blitzing him and putting pressure on him," James said. "It's still tough to get a stop on D-Wade. You have to challenge yourself mentally to do it on both ends."

Cleveland is the only team in the NBA yet to lose at home this season, but that streak appeared in jeopardy when Daequan Cook's jumper gave the Heat a 69-59 lead with 11:09 to play. The Cavaliers, however, would erupt for 35 points in the fourth quarter, with James scoring and 11 in the period and Williams seven.

"The one thing we have to do, or get back to doing, is executing offensively," Cleveland head coach Mike Brown said. "There was a stretch when we were a little flat, then in the fourth quarter all of our guys stepped it up and won the ballgame."

Michael Beasley's 18-footer extended Miami's lead to 75-67 with eight minutes on the clock, but Cleveland stormed back with a 17-2 rally to take command. Delonte West's 3-pointer cut the deficit to one at the 6:15 mark. After James split two foul shots, Mo Williams gave the Cavaliers the lead for good with a 19-footer following a Miami turnover.

With 3:15 to play, a wild scramble in Miami's frontcourt resulted in Udonis Haslem catching an inadvertent James elbow near the eye. Haslem was bloodied, but return with a bandage. He finished with 15 points and nine rebounds.

"If we had played them a 48-minute game, I think we would have had a victory," Haslem said. "In the last six minutes, they made the plays and we didn't."

The Heat made one last gasp when Cook sank a 3-pointer with 29 seconds left to pull Miami within four at 90-86. The visitors forced a turnover and Cook and Wade each had 3-point looks but couldn't connect.

"We just need to find a way to get some resolve in a building on the road with tough conditions and still find a way to grind it out," Miami coach Erik Spoelestra said.

Anderson Varejao had 12 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks for the Cavaliers.

Cook had 12 points in 21 minutes for the Heat, who saw their four-game winning streak snapped.