Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/17

Game 1: Saturday, December 17th
Game 2: Thursday, February 2nd
Game 3: Sunday, March 12th
Game 4: Saturday, April 1st

Heat 107

(14-11, 6-8 away)

Cavaliers 115

(13-9, 9-3 home)

7:30 PM ET, December 17, 2005

Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

1 2 3 4 T
MIA 18 26 29 34107
CLE 22 39 32 22115

Top Performers

Miami: D. Wade 33 Pts, 4 Reb, 7 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

Cleveland: L. James 41 Pts, 5 Reb, 10 Ast, 1 Stl

James scores 41, Marshall adds 25 for Cavs

Associated Press

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Pat Riley, meet LeBron James.

James helped spoil an otherwise perfect week for the returning Miami coach, scoring 41 points and taking over late to give the Cleveland Cavaliers a 115-107 victory over Riley and the Heat on Saturday night.

Riley, coaching against James for the first time, was impressed.

"A guy like that gets it going, what are you going to do?" Riley said. "I've seen too many players like him. At times, you're helpless."

Donyell Marshall put up season highs of 25 points and 13 rebounds and Larry Hughes scored 20 points, but it was James' 13 straight points in the fourth quarter that held off the Heat's comeback.

Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 33 points and Shaquille O'Neal tied a season-low with 10.

Miami had won four straight, including three with Riley after Stan Van Gundy resigned Monday. Cleveland has won two straight after dropping seven of nine.

"This is a very big win because it's against an Eastern Conference powerhouse," James said. "We caught them on the end of a back to back, but they can win a game at any time."

The Heat looked sluggish early, playing their fourth road game in five nights.

"We would have liked to come away 4-0, but they had more energy than we did and they hit a lot of shots," O'Neal said.

O'Neal got into foul trouble and the Cavaliers led by 22 late in the third quarter.

But Miami, playing with its reserves on the floor, went on a 14-0 run to pull to 95-87 with 8:09 left on strong inside play from Alonzo Mourning and Antoine Walker.

"They're a great team and they hadn't made a run all night. We knew they would," James said. "It was time for me to wake up."

James took control, scoring Cleveland's next 13 points -- a layup high off the glass, three jumpers, a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer -- as the Cavs made it 108-98 with 3:26 to go.

"Once I start feeling like that, I feel unstoppable," James said.

Riley didn't have an answer for James, who was born two years after the coach won his first NBA title in his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1982.

"He's like a freight train with Dwyane Wade's speed," Riley said.

Wade's layup made it 111-107 with 43.7 seconds left. But he missed a 3-pointer with 8 seconds remaining and the Cavaliers made enough free throws to hold off Miami.

Wade praised Miami's bench for getting them back in it, but acknowledged the Heat overall didn't have enough intensity on defense.

James added 10 assists, five rebounds and was 12-of-13 from the foul line.

"The whole game he was terrific," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. "Toward the end, he put us on his back like many times before and he carried us. And he even carried me, if I called a play he executed it."

Marshall scored 14 points in the third quarter, capped by a 3-pointer with under a minute left for Cleveland's biggest lead, 93-71.

Mourning scored 14 points and Walker 10 points and seven assists.

The Cavs' Drew Gooden sprained his left ankle when he came down on O'Neal's foot late in the first half. He had to be helped off the floor and did not return.

After the game, Gooden said he reaggravated an old injury, but did not expect to miss significant time.

Cleveland's Zydrunas Ilgauskas lay sprawled on the floor his hands over his head with 55.7 seconds left after colliding with Wade's shoulder on a loose ball for his sixth foul. A few minutes later Ilgauskas walked off the court with a large knot over his right eye.

Hughes scored 19 of his 20 points in the first half. He made back to back 3-pointers, then stole a pass and ran the length of the court to give Cleveland a 56-38 lead with 1:34 left.

Game notes

The Cavaliers had lost three straight to the Heat. ... Miami has scored 100 points or more in five straight games. ... O'Neal had not lost to the Cavaliers in 10 meetings dating to March 18, 1999, when he had 37 points and 19 rebounds in a 100-93 loss with the Lakers. ... Heat G Jason Williams missed his sixth straight game with right knee tendinitis. ... Cavaliers G Ira Newble was active for the first time this season after missing 21 games with right foot plantar fasciitis. He did not play. ... Riley said his first week back on the sideline has been a whirlwind: "I don't know what I'm doing," he said. "I'm just trying to get through the week. Next week, I'll put some plays in and start screwing them up."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 107 115
FGM-FGA 42-85 (.494) 40-78 (.513)
3PM-3PA 8-22 (.364) 11-28 (.393)
FTM-FTA 15-24 (.625) 24-31 (.774)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-41 4-37
Assists 23 29
Turnovers 13 12
Steals 5 6
Blocks 6 4
Fast Break Points 11 13
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (4/0) 24 (1/0)
Largest Lead 3 23

Top Performers

Dwyane Wade Wade
Points: 33
Reb: 4
Ast: 7
Stl: 2
Blk: 1
LeBron James James
Points: 41
Reb: 5
Ast: 10
Stl: 1
Blk: 0