NBA Miami snaps Cavs' win streak
The Heat buried Cleveland 101-73, halting the win streak at seven.
MIAMI (AP) -- Dwyane Wade scored 24 points and the Miami Heat rode two big scoring runs to beat Cleveland 101-73 on Thursday night, snapping the Cavaliers' seven-game winning streak.
The Heat used a 22-0 first-half run to build their lead, then went on a 19-1 game-clinching burst in the fourth quarter while dealing the Cavaliers their biggest loss of the season.
Shaquille O'Neal had 21 points and eight rebounds, hours after he and Wade were named as Eastern Conference All-Star starters. Gary Payton added 14 points, Antoine Walker had 12 and James Posey had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Miami, which won its fourth straight and moved a season-best 11 games over .500.
James starts slowly
Unlike his soon-to-be All-Star teammates, LeBron James' day wasn't perfect. James, the East's leading vote getter in fan balloting, will start the midseason showcase for the second straight year. But he missed 10 of his first 13 shots before finishing with 29 points, seven assists and five rebounds for the Cavaliers.
No other Cleveland player scored in double figures.
Miami led 59-33 with 9:36 left in the third quarter before Cleveland, playing for the second straight night, rallied. Drew Gooden's tip-in with 7:22 left in the third capped an 11-1 run, and the Cavaliers later cut the deficit to 71-62 on Anderson Varejao's layup with 1:32 remaining in the period.
The Cavaliers got within 10 on another basket by Varejao early in the fourth, but Miami scored the game's next 13 points -- capped by Wade dunking an alley-oop pass from Jason Williams with 5:22 left to push the Heat's lead back to 91-68.
O'Neal then sealed the win with two highlight-reel plays.
First, he took an entry pass from Williams with 4:35 left and was immediately fouled by Cleveland's Alan Henderson. So O'Neal simply flipped the ball over his shoulder -- and into the basket.
And about 90 seconds later, Wade dribbled up the left sideline and around Cleveland's Sasha Pavlovic, who tried cutting his progress off around the midcourt stripe.
Wade sidestepped Pavlovic, retrieved the ball and threw a long alley-oop to O'Neal -- who threw the dunk down.
Miami shot 52 percent, compared to 34 percent by the Cavaliers.
James' layup with 1:37 left in the opening quarter drew Cleveland to 21-15, but Miami quickly took command -- scoring the next 22 points, including 19 straight to open the second quarter.
Wade had seven points and Walker six during the burst, part of a stretch during which Cleveland missed 13 consecutive attempts from the field.
Former Miami guard Damon Jones, in his first game back since signing with Cleveland during the offseason, finished with three points on 1-for-6 shooting. He was booed after making a 3-pointer early, and the fans cheered later in the half when he missed a pair of free throws.
Williams returned after missing four games with a lacerated finger. He had four points and eight assists in 26 minutes. ... It was Cleveland's first loss since Pavlovic entered the starting lineup eight games ago -- and since James started wearing tights under his game shorts, saying the accessory helps his knee. ... Wade and O'Neal were presented with their All-Star warmup jackets in a brief pregame ceremony. ... Cavs C Zydrunas Ilgauskas missed about 12 minutes midway through the first half after dislocating a finger on his right hand.