The Miami Heat took care of business on their recent road trip and are back in the friendly confines of AmericanAirlines Arena, where they will open a three-game homestand Sunday versus the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Heat went 4-0 on the jaunt, which culminated with Saturday's 114-90 victory against the Philadelphia 76ers. Superstud LeBron James recorded a triple-double of 16 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, including nine on the defensive side.
"I think people recognize what we're doing," James added. "We're playing some good ball right now. We came here to take care of business."
Sixers coach Doug Collins certainly noticed.
"That team is big-time good," Philadelphia coach Doug Collins said of the Heat. "They're a great team. I don't see any weaknesses. They're poised to make another run at another championship."
Dwyane Wade had a game-high 33 points on 14-of-18 shooting, while Mario Chalmers and Chris Bosh scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, for the Southeast Division-leading Heat, who have won a season high 10 straight games and shot 58.4 percent (45-of-77) for the game. Miami is 24-2 this season when shooting at least 50 percent from the field.
Miami, which won 12 in a row from Nov. 29-Dec. 18, 2010, can become the first team in the Eastern Conference with 40 victories if it defeats the Cavaliers, James' former team. Rumors have surfaced that someday James will return to the Cavs to possibly play alongside Kyrie Irving.
Irving is coming off his first All-Star appearance and has become the face of a Cleveland franchise that was searching for a player to take over when James headed south to Miami. Irving had 12 points and nine assists in Saturday's 118-94 blowout of the Orlando Magic.
Marreese Speights led the team with 18 points and had eight boards, while Alonzo Gee added 17 points and both Tyler Zeller and C.J. Miles scored 16 points in the opener of a three-game road trip for the Cavaliers, who have won two in a row since a three-game slide.
"We're just trying to win as many games as possible," said Irving. "In order to do that, we just have to find consistency on this team and it starts with this road trip ... It is a challenge for us as a team and we are looking forward to it."
The Cavs are 8-21 away from Quicken Loans Arena and will wrap up the trek Tuesday at Chicago. Cleveland was without forward Omri Casspi (abdominal) and guard Daniel Gibson (personal) on Saturday. Casspi is doubtful and Gibson, who didn't travel to the Magic, is expected to miss Sunday's game.
Cleveland was handed a 110-108 road loss by the Heat on Nov. 24 and has dropped four straight and seven of the past eight meetings. The Cavs are also winless in the last five trips to South Beach.
The Heat have won eight in a row at home and own a 23-3 mark as the host.
The Sports Network