The Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers matched up in a very hyped up Christmas Day special. For the first time since leaving the Heat, LeBron James came to Miami to face his old team. The Heat ruined James’ comeback though, beating the Cavs 101-91 at the Quicken Loans Arena Thursday.
There were a few special moments before and during the game. James and Dwayne Wade, former teammates and great friends, shared a hug before tip-off.
"We only play this game for so long," said James. "You've still got life afterwards. For us we're going to compete, we're going to go about our business and do what we need to do in our profession. You'll never let friendship come in between that."
Apparently the friendship goes beyond the basketball court. Before Thursday’s game, Wade and his family invited James over for Christmas Eve dinner.
"We didn't have a bad breakup," Wade said. "We played against each other for seven years, man. The weirdness just wasn't there. It wasn't like we played against each other our whole career and the breakup happened. We played against each other for seven years, then with each other for a period of time, then he went back to the same situation and I'm in the same place."
During the first quarter, the Heat showed a video of James’ highlights during his Heat years in the stadium’s video board.
That must have fueled Wade in some kind of way. He scored 24 of his 31 points in the first half to lead the Heat to only their 14th win in 30 games. The former Chicago Bull, Luol Deng, had a terrific game, scoring 25 points, and adding eight rebounds and eight assists.
James ended the game with 30 points, eight assists and four rebounds, but missed eight of his free throws, going 10-18. Kevin Love struggled, scoring 14 points but shooting only 5-13 from the field and only grabbing five rebounds.
The Cavaliers travel to Orlando to face the Magic Friday night next, while the Heat are right back in action as they host the Memphis Grizzles tonight.