The Cavs looked doomed when the Heat came roaring back in the second half, but made a late run of their own to come within one point in the fourth. They couldn't capitalize, though, when a potential game-tying three-pointer by C.J. Miles fell just short at the end of regulation.
It was none other than LeBron James who led the Heat (53-14) with 25 points. In fitting fashion, it was his pair of free throws with 4.7 seconds remaining that iced the game for the defending champs.
Miami shot 44.4 percent from the field and made a 37-10 run in the second half that tied the game. Mario Chalmers scored 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting, and went 3 of 6 from the three-point line.
Cleveland (22-46) shot 45.7 percent overall, but was especially bad in the third quarter, when the team managed to shoot just 41.2 percent. The Cavaliers also gave up 34 points in the third, allowed the Heat to shoot 64.7 percent and gain extra possessions by winning the rebounding margin, 11-7.
Wayne Ellington scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Cavs. Cleveland used its size advantage to dominate the inside with 46 points in the paint against Miami's 34. They also won the rebounding margin, 42-34.