LeBron James nabbed the headline with a game-high 43 points, but Chris Bosh stole the show in the fourth quarter as the Miami Heat defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 100-96, on Tuesday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
The game wasn't without late drama as the Cavs pulled to within two with under one minute remaining. Jarrett Jack hit three three-pointers in the final 12 minutes including one with 11 seconds remaining to make the score 98-96, but James' two free throws on the next possession sealed the win for Miami. Jack previously hit another deep ball with 14 seconds left to pull the Cavs within three.
The point guard's corner three-pointer at the 3:43 mark to tie the game at 88 points gave the Cavs momentum down the stretch, but Bosh answered back with a three-pointer of his own to put the Heat up three. Next, the big man hit a floater in the lane to give Miami a five-point advantage with 2:22 left, after which the Heat never looked back and held on to win.
James' 31 points in the first half came on 12-of-16 shooting and a whopping six three-pointers on eight attempts. He dropped 25 points in the first quarter alone, and despite the scoring barrage and long range precision, he still managed three assists through the first two frames. He finished with 43 points, six rebounds and four assists while going 14-for-19 from the field. Bosh finished with 21 points and six rebounds.
LeBron's biggest contribution to the winning effort came on defense with under two minutes remaining when he recorded two of his three blocks. The first came on Spencer Hawes' dunk attempt and he then denied Dion Waiters' layup try.
Jack finished with 22 points to lead the Cavs on 8-of-13 shooting and 4-of-6 from three. Dion Waiters finished with 17 as all five Cleveland starters scored in double figures.
Miami shot 52 percent from the field and 55 percent from beyond the arc in the first half, while Cleveland shot a blazing 58 percent from the field to keep things close. Cleveland shot 51 percent overall to best its opponent's 45-percent mark for the game.
Cleveland dominated the inside and mitigated Miami's offensive firepower with a 44-24 edge in points in the paint. The Cavs' resolve was apparent as they entered the game five games back of the No. 8 seed Atlanta Hawks with 14 games remaining. The loss leaves them 5.5 games back pending the result of Atlanta's game, which was in progress at the time of publication.