CLEVELAND -- LeBron James made sure nothing was stolen from home.
Cleveland's All-Star scored 25 of his 36 points in the second half and the Cavaliers, drawing from tough lessons learned in last year's playoffs, beat the New Jersey Nets 102-92 on Tuesday night to open a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
James added 12 assists and Sasha Pavlovic scored a career playoff-high 17 points for the Cavaliers, who later this week will head to New Jersey for Game 3 with a commanding lead in the best-of-seven series.
This is unfamiliar territory for Cleveland, which has never been up by two games in the semifinals. But with James around, anything could be possible for the Cavs, who have never been to the NBA finals.
The Nets had hoped to slip out of town with at least one win, and although they shot well enough (53 percent) to get it, they were outrebounded 49-32 by the Cavs, who also kept several possessions alive by outhustling New Jersey.
Vince Carter scored 26 points to lead the Nets, but for the second straight game he struggled from the floor. Carter was just 10-for-26 and missed two key shots in the final two minutes when New Jersey was still close.
Richard Jefferson scored 22 and Jason Kidd had 17 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Nets.