James, Heat blast Cavaliers 111-87

By Tom Withers

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Feb. 17 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

Miami scored the game's first 11 points and pushed its lead to 25-5 when James grabbed a lob and delivered a vicious one-handed slam, an early punctuation mark. James and Mario Chalmers hit consecutive 3-pointers later in the quarter as the Heat opened a 21-point lead after one.

This wasn't what Scott had in mind. One of his assistants had written on the dry-erase board in Cleveland's locker room the message: "Hit First."

The Heat landed the initial shot and kept 'em coming.

They pushed their lead to 27 on a 3-pointer by Wade and Miami went 8 of 12 from long range in opening a 63-38 lead.

In the third, James went on a personal 7-0 run he started with a pair of free throws. He followed that with a thunderous dunk and capped it with a 3-pointer. After the ball swished through the net, James headed down court nodding to fans as if to say, "Remember me?"

"We took the crowd right out of it," James said. "That was big. It was a good way to start the game."

This was James' third visit to Cleveland with the Heat, and as usual, it turned in to more than just a game.

James touched some nerves in Northeast Ohio and South Florida on Thursday when he said he could envision a return to the Cavs at some point.

"I think it would be great," he said. "It would be fun to play in front of these fans again. ... And if I decide to come back, hopefully the fans will accept me."

Those remarks didn't sit well with some Miami fans, but James didn't back off his comments Friday. However, he did clarify that he is committed to the Heat.

"I love the fans of Miami. I'm here," said James, who can opt out of his contract after the 2014 season. "The question was asked of me, could I see myself playing back here. I said yeah, in the sense of I don't know what my future holds and I don't want to take that out.

"I've got everything thing invested with this team. I'm looking forward to the years to come."

But according to a report from Yahoo! Sports, James has been using messengers to relay to Gilbert that he wants to return to Cleveland in three years.

James was asked to comment on the report.

"Not true, not true at all," he said.

That's all conjecture.

This is fact: He and Heat look unstoppable.

NOTES: James improve to 6-1 against the Cavs, averaging 25.7 points. ... Cavs G Daniel Gibson sat out with a sprained left ankle but could be back Sunday against Sacramento. ... Spoelstra had high praise for Cleveland's young squad. "The future looks very bright for their organization and the future could be now," said Spoelstra. "They have a lot of young talent." ... Cavs C Semih Erden left with a bruised left wrist in the third quarter and didn't return.

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