James scores 30 points but Cavs defense allows Heat a big first half…
LeBron James returned to Miami on Christmas Day, but the Cleveland Cavaliers were sent home with a loss as Dwyane Wade put on a show to lift the Heat to a win.
Wade scored 31 points while Luol Deng added 25 points and hounded James on the defensive end all night as the Cavaliers struggled in the first half to assert themselves.
The Cavs were rocked earlier this week by the news that center Anderson Varejao will miss the rest of the season with a torn Achilles, and it was apparent early on that they will need to address the problem sooner rather than later.
Nevertheless, the main focus was on James as he embraced his former teammates before tip-off and after the game, but unfortunately for him and Cleveland, they dropped to 17-11 for the season while Miami improve to 14-16.
The Chicago Bulls continued their strong week of results with a win over the Los Angeles Lakers, although they did so against a Lakers team without Kobe Bryant in action.
Bryant cited “old age” as the reason behind his absence as he was left fatigued after after playing significant minutes this season, and former teammate Pau Gasol ensured that the visitors didn’t have anything to show from their trip with 23 points, 13 rebounds and three assists on the night.
Derrick Rose added 20 points while Jimmy Butler scored 21, while the Bulls also got their usual production off the bench from Aaron Brooks and Nikola Mirotic who added 13 points apiece.
Chicago move to 20-9 for the season as they continue to chase down the likes of the Raptors, Wizards and Hawks at the top of the Eastern Conference with their five-game winning streak.
Over in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Clippers sealed a comfortable win over the Golden State Warriors with Chris Paul putting up 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Jamal Crawford scored 12 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter but Clippers coach Doc Rivers described the game as “ugly” as both teams struggled to shoot and so it became a real fight with the Clippers coming out on top.
Washington Wizards 102-91 New York Knicks
Oklahoma City Thunder 114-106 San Antonio Spurs
Cleveland Cavaliers 91-101 Miami Heat
Los Angeles Lakers 93-113 Chicago Bulls
Golden State Warriors 86-100 Los Angeles Clippers