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Cavaliers’ revenge: James, Heat stifled

Associated Press / March 30, 2011

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In an unbearable season of losses, Cleveland got the win it wanted most.

The Cavaliers took down LeBron James.

Despite blowing a 23-point lead, the Cavs battled back and beat the Miami Heat, 102-90, last night, getting a dose of revenge against James, who was making his second homecoming visit to Cleveland since leaving last summer.

J.J. Hickson scored 21 and Anthony Parker scored 20 for the Cavs, who were embarrassed by James and the Heat, 118-90, Dec. 2 — a night when Cleveland fans unleashed their hatred on the superstar.

This time, James left the floor hanging his head. He finished with 27 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds.

In the closing seconds, a sellout crowd of 20,562 cut loose at a victory even the most loyal Cleveland fan couldn’t have imagined. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, who accused James of quitting in last year’s playoffs, high-fived anyone within reach.

On the floor afterward, Parker, whose last 3-pointer with 2:47 left capped a 12-0 run and put the Heat away, addressed Cavs fans.

“You guys deserve it,’’ he said.

Thunder 115, Warriors 114 — Kevin Durant scored 39 points, Russell Westbrook hit the winning free throw with 11.4 seconds left in overtime, and Oklahoma City finished its longest homestand of the season with a victory over Golden State.

Durant scored 8 of Oklahoma City’s 9 points in overtime, but served as a decoy to create room along the right side of the lane as Westbrook drove to the basket and got fouled. Westbrook missed his first free throw, but made the second to put the Thunder on top.

Rockets 112, Nets 87 — Kyle Lowry had 16 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds and Houston moved within two games of the final playoff berth in the Western Conference with a road victory. Kevin Martin added 20 points as the Rockets posted their sixth win in seven games.

Kings 116, Suns 113 — Marcus Thornton compiled 24 points and 11 rebounds to power host Sacramento to its season-high fourth straight victory.

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