Wilting Heat lose to Cavaliers; James nets 28


Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who are 8-1 in January.

MIAMI (AP) — LeBron James’ run of futility in South Florida is over. The misfortune of the Miami Heat continues.

James scored 28 points and added five assists, lifting the Cleveland Cavaliers past the Heat 97-90 Monday night — his first win in nine career trips to Miami and enough to send the 2006 NBA champions to their 14th straight loss, the second-worst slide in franchise history.

Dwyane Wade scored 42 points for the Heat, who are 8-32 overall — 2 1/2 games better than Minnesota in the battle for the league’s worst record. The Heat started 0-17 in their expansion 1988-89 season, and with defending NBA champion San Antonio coming in Thursday, it’s not getting easy anytime soon for Miami.

Wade hit a 3-pointer with 30.8 seconds left — he scored a franchise-record 18 straight Miami points down the stretch — to get the Heat within 92-88, before James sealed it with two free throws 4.8 seconds later.

Wade’s 3 was Miami’s only make in 12 attempts from beyond the arc, but marked the team’s 129th straight game with at least one connection from long range.

That streak doesn’t matter to the Heat.

The 14-in-a-row is the one they can’t snap, no matter what they try.

Shaquille O’Neal finished with 10 points, all in the first half, for Miami, and Udonis Haslem added nine points and 13 rebounds.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who are 8-1 in January.

Drew Gooden scored 11 points while Sasha Pavlovic and Damon Jones each scored 10 for Cleveland, which tied the game on a Pavlovic 3-pointer on the first possession of the second half and never trailed again.

Things didn’t start well for Miami, which trailed 12-5 when O’Neal went into the Heat locker room, followed by trainer Ron Culp, with 8:33 left in the opening period. Culp re-taped O’Neal’s ailing left hip — the one that kept him out of eight straight games from Dec. 28 through Jan. 11 — and the center returned to the game at the start of the second quarter.

Though clearly limping, O’Neal was effective.

He went 4-for-6 for 10 points in the half, his backup Mark Blount went 3-for-5 for another eight points — plus took a charging foul against James with 0.3 seconds left before intermission — and the Heat went into the break leading 52-49.

Cleveland seemed poised to pull away at times in the third, opening the quarter with a quick 7-0 run to erase Miami’s lead, and going up by seven points on two occasions later in the period.

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