In his first game back in Cleveland as a member of the Heat — in his first game back since “The Decision” — LeBron James scored 38 points with eight assists and five rebounds, and led Miami in a 118-90 rout of his former team.
James, an Akron native, spent his first seven NBA seasons with Cleveland before becoming a free agent this past summer. Instead of choosing to re-sign with the Cavaliers, James opted to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Heat.
But the boos didn’t rain down on James on Thursday because he chose another team, at least not totally. They also rained down because James chose another team through a much-hyped ESPN special — “The Decision” — in July.
The nature of James’ departure from the Cavaliers prompted the team to increase security in preparation for James’ return, and there were guards by the Heat bench throughout the game. But if anything, it was the Cavaliers who needed protection.
And if Cleveland fans hoped James and his new team fell flat, it didn’t happen. James shot 15-of-25 while Wade almost posted a triple-double, going for 22 points, nine assists and nine rebounds. Bosh added 15 points as the Heat shot 56.6 percent in a third consecutive win.