Cavaliers
Heat
107 - 100 Final
  for this game

LeBron outduels Wade as both hit for 40-plus

Mar 3, 2009 - 5:30 AM MIAMI (Ticker) -- LeBron James didn't want to overstate it, so he just let his actions do the talking.

James capped his scoring battle with Dwyane Wade on a game-clinching dunk with 42 seconds left as the Cleveland Cavaliers erased an 11-point, fourth-quarter deficit en route to Monday's 107-100 victory over the Miami Heat.

"I felt good," James said in a great understatement.

James had 42 points - on the strength of six 3-pointers - and eight rebounds and Mo Williams scored 19 of his 30 points in the final period for the Cavaliers, who outscored the Heat, 27-9, over the game's final 7:31.

"I know some of the other guys didn't feel their best, but I went to Mo halfway through the fourth quarter and said that it was on us to (lead the team)," James said. "The last five minutes meant a lot. We were able to find that last boost and win a big game in a tough environment."

Wade collected 41 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Heat, who led by six points after three quarters.

Both superstars relished playing against one another, though Wade seemed perturbed by the loss.

"Being very, very good friends and seeing each other a lot in the summer time, we don't want each other to have bragging rights," James said. "We definitely go at it when we play each other."

"We both were trying to make plays," Wade said. "He was trying to keep his team in the game and I was trying to take the lead up for my team. I was just trying to be aggressive. I don't like these duels if I am going to keep coming up on the 'L' side when we both score over 40."

The league's leading scorer - one spot ahead of James - Wade asserted himself on the defensive end, recording a career-high seven steals. One of those swipes led to a transition reverse dunk to give Miami its largest lead, 91-80, with 7:31 left.

The Cavaliers then ran off eight quick points, as Williams sandwiched two threes around a dunk by James with 2:42 left. Jermaine O'Neal cut the Heat's deficit to three points after converting a follow dunk with 1:01 left, setting the stage for James.

For the second straight night, LeBron was isolated from straightaway with the game on the line. He drove quickly to his right, leaving several defenders in his wake, and slammed home a thunderous righthanded jam over O'Neal to let the air out of Miami's balloon.

"I don't know how he did it," Cavs coach Mike Brown said simply of the decisive play.

LeBron did, though.

"I was able to turn the corner and split back to my right hand," he said. "And once I get into the lane, I am going to try to finish with a lot of force."

James hit the game-winning free throw in the final seconds of Sunday's one-point win over the Atlanta Hawks, getting to the line on a similar drive.

This time, he made sure to finish.

Wade, despite his virtuoso performance, also committed a season-worst eight turnovers. Ironically, his career-worst total of 12 came against the Cavaliers in 2007.

"That's a tough one to stomach," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We had the game going in our favor. We had enough opportunities at the rim. We had some costly turnovers."

However, Wade completed an incredible back-to-back showing. He collected 46 points and 10 assists in Saturday's win over the New York Knicks and now has eight 40-point games this season - the most in the league.

James, however, had more help from his teammates, including Williams and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who collected 12 points and 15 rebounds.

The trio helped Cleveland outscored Miami, 31-18, in the fourth, when the winners shot 10-of-16 from the field. The Heat hit just 6-of-25 shots from the field over that span.

"It's hard to sit here and tell you that they're a better team, but tonight they were," Miami forward Udonis Haslem said.