LeBron drops 38 in win over his former team

Miami 118, Cleveland 90

LeBron James’ return to Cleveland was a rousing success for the Heat. The atmosphere was electric early on, but a 16-0 run in the first quarter gave the Heat an 11-point lead, and a 24-point third quarter by LeBron put the game well out of reach.

The fans boo’ed him just about every time he caught the ball, but when the Cavs got down by 30, the arena was almost completely void of energy other than pure hate. As the lead grew, I was a little worried that the frustration of watching LeBron have his way with the Cavs coupled with the effects of alcohol might create a bad situation, but the Cleveland crowd handled themselves pretty well, all things considered.

The thing that really struck me as odd is the relative friendliness of the interaction between LeBron and some of the Cavs, even as the game was going on. He went over to Cleveland’s bench several times and seemed to be laughing and joking with Daniel Gibson and a few other players. Maybe I’m old school, but if I were coaching the Cavs, that kind of demeanor from my players would drive me nuts.

In case you missed the postgame interview, there was an interesting moment when Craig Sager asked LeBron if he had anything to say to the fans in Cleveland. Marv Albert, Steve Kerr and Reggie Miller chimed in at the end.

Craig: The fans had their say tonight. What would you like to say to them if you could?

LeBron: Seven great years. I loved every part. I loved every moment, from when I was an 18-year-old kid to when I was a 25-year-old man. Tried our best. As a team we tried our best to bring a championship to the city and just try to play hard every night. [I have] the utmost respect for this franchise and the utmost respect for these fans, you know, just continue the greatness for myself in Miami and try to get better every day.

Marv: That was a nice statement up to the point of LeBron referring to his greatness, would you agree?

Steve: We didn’t need that part. He was good until then.

Reggie: I think the hole has been dug deeper.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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