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Postgame Breakdown: Cavaliers 92, Heat 91

You knew it would come down to those two. LeBron James. Dwyane Wade. Cavaliers Heat Main

And in a strange way, the 21st showdown between the big-time rivals and close friends was not decided as much by which of them would do something to win the game as it was who would find a way to lose it.

Turns out, it was Wade who had the Brett Favre moment Monday night.

"Came down to one play," James said. "I'm glad it was us."

Two missed free throws and a key turnover in the final seconds came back to haunt Wade as the Heat fell 92-91 to James and the Cavaliers at AmericanAirlines Arena. Chalk this one up as another big game at home that got away from the Heat after it seemed in control.

Miami was ahead 87-81 with four minutes left and watched the Cavs steal the victory. It went down like this against Boston. It went down like this against Portland. It's gone down like this seemingly one too many times.

"We had two or three chances to win the game," forward Michael Beasley said. "After a loss like this, it hurts. Like I said, up in the fourth quarter with a couple of chances to win the game. It's tough."

Wade and James both finished with 32.

D. WADE'S DOINGS: Wade had 30 points in the first half, a career high for a first half. It was a point shy of Sherman Douglas' franchise record of 31 points in the first half. LeBron had 24. But the second half was a totally different story for Wade, who was 1 of 8 in the last two quarters. He missed two key free throws in the final seconds, then turned it over to James, and then missed what would have been the game-winner on a pull-up over James as time expired. Credit coach Mike Brown for making the adjustment and doubling Wade every time he touched the ball down the stretch. There was no double-team in the final minute, though. It was just straight-up defense from James on the final two possessions. Wade finished with 32 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and three steals. He was 10 of 21 from the field, but missed 7 free throws.

TURNING POINT: The final turn took the toll. After Wade missed two free throws, with the Heat in position Cavaliers Heat second to extend its lead by three, James took over and made the biggest two plays of the game. He forced Wade into a turnover on a play where Wade might have tried to be a bit too fancy on the failed behind-the-back pass. James then hit two free throws for the final margin. It came down to Wade missing his two free throws in the final seconds and James nailing his attempts from the charity stripe. Simple as that.

LOSING EDGE: In a game decided by the slimmest of margins, the Cavaliers got a bit more lift from their reserves. Cleveland got 24 points, 19 rebounds and five assists from its bench, with Anderson Varejao's energy leading the way. The Heat got 13 points and 14 rebounds off the bench, with Udonis Haslem going for 10 points and nine boards.

HEAD-SCRATCHER: There was an ovation from the crowd when Mike Brown and Erik Spoelstra came to their senses and stopped torturing the fans with the lineups that started the second quarter. The Heat had Mario Chalmers, Dorell Wright, Michael Beasley, Udonis Haslem and Joel Anthony out there. Cleveland had Boobie Gibson, Anthony Parker, Jawad Williams, Anderson Varejao and Shaquille O'Neal. As expected, the statistics plummeted.  Ever wondered what these teams would look like without Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, respectively? We saw it in the opening six minutes of the second quarter. It wasn't a pretty picture. Until order was restored. D. Wade and Bron-Bron re-entered together midway through the second and went off, which each scoring at least 12 consecutive points for during one of the most prolific six-minute stretches of the NBA season. Why not just let them play one-on-one, fullcourt the entire game?

KEY CONTRIBUTION: Jermaine O'Neal had another solid game and was key for the Heat at the start andO'NEAL_JERMAINE early in the fourth quarter. J.O. seemed motivated by his matchup with the previous O'Neal that donned a Heat uniform. Jermaine was 7 of 14 from the field for 18 points. He also added eight rebounds and two blocks. There was a key missed free throw in the final minutes that could have capped a three-point play. But this was the kind of production the Heat needs from J.O. every night.Beasley also had a key stretch in the third quarter when he kept the team rolling once Wade started to struggle.

NEXT UP: Heat at Toronto Raptors, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Air Canada Centre

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/wallacesports. To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)




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