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LeBron James returned to Miami on Christmas Day and he received a standing ovation from the Heat fans as he was introduced ahead of the game.
However, it was an unhappy return for James as the Cleveland Cavaliers lost 101-91 to the Heat with former teammate Dwyane Wade scoring 31 points in a stellar performance while Luol Deng played a key role on both ends of the court.
Nevertheless, the four-time MVP was cheered on his return to the AA Arena after helping the franchise to two championships during his four-year spell in Miami.
James shared a hug and a few jokes with some of his former teammates ahead of tip-off, but after receiving a positive reception before the game, the Heat fans naturally went into competitive mode and jeered him when in possession of the ball as proceedings got underway.
“It’s tough to play under these circumstances, man,” James said afterward.
“You’re so used to playing regular-season games, and then you have to play one like this. Or my first home game, when I went back home (this season), my first home game. So, it’s very difficult.”
The Heat also put on a tribute video for James during a timeout in the first quarter which he appreciated and raised his hand to wave to the crowd as he reminisced about his time on South Beach.