What do the days December 2, 2010 and December 25, 2014 have in common? Both days mark the first game where LeBron James played against the team he was with a year prior. James spent seven years in Cleveland and he was beloved in Cleveland, James took off to south beach in the summer of 2010 to play with the Miami Heat.
On December 2, 2010 James walked into The Q as part of the visiting team. The reception he got from the Cleveland crowd was less than stellar, James was hit hard with boo's.
Fast-forward three and a half years in the summer of 2014, James made his return to Cleveland to re-join the Cavaliers. James brought two championships with him that he won in Miami, he also brought a veteran leadership to a young team.
LeBron James went from a villain to the super-hero in a matter of days in Cleveland.
On Christmas Day, Lebron James would head to south beach, but he would bring the Cavaliers with him in hopes to defeat the Miami Heat. It was the first time James walked into American Airlines Arena since leaving the Heat months prior. He said he had butterflies and had a mix of emotions, something along the lines what he said when he came to Cleveland for the first time as a member of the Heat.
The reception the Miami Heat fans gave James was positive, they greeted him with cheers.
The Miami Heat started fast jumping to a 19-12 heading into the commercial break, James only had 2 points and Kyrie Irving led the Cavs with 8 points. During the commercial break the Miami Heat put together a video tribute to Lebron and he looked overwhelmed with the video.
The tempo of the game picked up towards the end of the first quarter. LeBron James threw up a alley-oop for Tristian Thompson and Dwayne Wade would answer with a put back dunk. The first quarter would end with the Heat leading 30-27, James would score the final points from the free throw line. Irving would lead the Cavs with 8 points; Wade would lead the Heat with 12 points. James ended the first quarter with 6 points.
In the second quarter the Heat would not let up, at one point it was a 17-point lead for the Heat (39-56). The Cavaliers would end the second quarter on a 10-6 run to make it a 62-49 ball game at the half with the Heat winning. The story of the game right now is the fact the Cavs defense is non-existent. Cavs have given up back-to-back 30 point quarters. Dwayne Wade looks unstoppable with 24 points. Irving leads the Cavaliers with 17 points and LeBron James now with 15 points.
The Cavs come out of halftime strong going on a 8-2 run cutting into the Heats lead to seven points in the first three minutes of the third quarter. LeBron James would start to heat up in the third quarter, scoring 6 points in the first five minutes in the third quarter.
With 4:08 left in the third quarter and the Heat leading 73-64, James would head to the locker room with trainer with a slight limp. Moments prior to that he jumped over the first row of chairs in the crowd, it's possible that's when he hurt his knee.
40 seconds into the fourth quarter the Cavs would take a 78-77 lead for the first time since the first quarter. LeBron would get a technical foul for hanging on the rim and wade would hit the free throw to tie the game at 78.
Since giving up back-to-back 30 point quarters, the Cavs defense has tightened up, giving up only 15 points in the third quarter and 3-minutes into the third the Cavs given up three points.
With 4:02 left in the game, the Heat jump to a 90-81 lead. The Cavs only have two points in the last six minutes.
The Cavs would cut it to three points on a Mike Miller shot, but in the final minute the Heat would pull away making it a 10 point lead with 1:19 left in the game. Kyrie Irving would get his foot stepped late in the fourth. After a series of free throws the Cavs would come up short against the Heat in LeBron James return.
The Miami Heat defeats the Cleveland Cavaliers 101-91.
LeBron James finished with 30 points, 8 assist.
Kyrie Irving finished with 25 points, 3 assist.
Dwayne Wade finished with 31 points.