J.J. Hickson scored 21, Anthony Parker scored 20 and unsung center Ryan Hollins threw around his weight for the Cavs, who were embarrassed by the Heat, 118-90, on Dec. 2, a night when Cleveland fans unleashed pent-up hatred on James, the native son who scorned them.
This time, it was James who left the floor beaten. He finished with 27 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds and had to endure another night of constant booing from fans who once cherished his every move but now view him as a bitter enemy for betraying them.
"Any time we play anybody, we know we're going to get the best out of them," James said. "They came out and played extremely well. It was a good win for them."
"This was for the fans and for their support," Cavs guard Daniel Gibson said. "They've stayed behind us and this was a way of saying thank you."
In the closing seconds, the sellout crowd of 20,562 cut loose at a victory even the most loyal Clevelander couldn't have imagined. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, who accused James of quitting in last year's playoffs after the two-time MVP announced he was joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in a poorly conceived TV special, high-fived anyone within reach.
On the floor afterward, Parker, whose last three-pointer with 2 minutes, 47 seconds left capped a 12-0 run and put the Heat away, addressed Cavs fans.
"You guys deserve it," he said as the fans erupted.
Later, Parker said the Cavs were out to fix what went wrong on Dec. 2.
"The first time we played them here, we were embarrassed and they took a little from us," he said.
In other games:
* At Newark, N.J., Kyle Lowry had 16 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds and the Houston Rockets moved within two games of the final playoff berth in the Western Conference with a 112-87 victory over the New Jersey Nets. Kevin Martin added 20 points as the Rockets (39-35) posted their sixth win in seven games and got one-half game closer to eighth-place Memphis (41-33) with both teams having eight games left in the regular season. Brook Lopez had 22 points for the Nets, who have lost 50 games for the second straight season.
* At Oklahoma City, Kervin Durant outscored Golden State's Stephen Curry 39-35 in the Thunder's 115-114 overtime victory over the Warriors.
* At Sacramento, Marcus Thornton had 24 points and 11 rebounds and the Kings rallied in the fourth quarter for a 116-113 victory over Phoenix.
* Former NBA and Michigan Fab Five standout Jalen Rose was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of drunken driving. West Bloomfield (Mich.) Township Police Lt. Tim Diamond said yesterday that Rose was arrested around 2 a.m. March 11. He's accused of operating a vehicle while impaired.
Keith Davidson, a Los Angeles-based attorney representing Rose, said the former player and his legal team "look forward to working with Michigan authorities and addressing any and all outstanding issues in court and not in the press."
Rose was part of a recent ESPN documentary on the Fab Five, in which he made inflammatory comments about African-American players who attended Duke.
* Minnesota's Kevin Love is ready to return to the court against Chicago tonight; he's missed three games with a strained left groin.