Final

Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/24

Game 1: Saturday, November 24th
Cavaliers108Final
Heat110
Game 2: Sunday, February 24th
Cavaliers105Final
Heat109
Game 3: Wednesday, March 20th
Heat98Final
Cavaliers95
Game 4: Monday, April 15th
Heat96Final
Cavaliers95

Heat 98

(53-14, 23-11 away)

Cavaliers 95

(22-46, 13-21 home)

Coverage: FSOHHD

7:00 PM ET, March 20, 2013

Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

1 2 3 4 T
MIA 24 10 34 3098
CLE 32 23 22 1895

Top Performers

Miami: L. James 25 Pts, 12 Reb, 10 Ast, 3 Stl, 2 Blk

Cleveland: W. Ellington 20 Pts, 7 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

Heat-Cavaliers Preview

(AP) -- LeBron James and the Miami Heat are about to play another game in Cleveland.

Yawn.

That's what a 23-game winning streak will do for a team.

It mutes even the LeBron-Goes-Home-Again hype.

Someday the Heat will lose another basketball game. Maybe even Wednesday night, when the reigning NBA champions drop by James' old neighborhood to take on James' old team, which happens to be decimated by injuries right now.

Still, could happen. Almost did in Boston on Monday night, save for James' game-winning jumper in the final seconds after Miami rallied from 17- and 13-point deficits to squeak past the Celtics 105-103.

But given how they wrapped up their latest "W" and what lies ahead, it may no longer be farfetched to think that the record of 33 straight victories set by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers is within the Heat's grasp.

"It means a lot," James said after the Boston game. "I know the history of the game. To be sitting in second place right now ... for us to be there and doing it in the way we want to do it, it means a lot."

It also means a lot that Miami (52-14) won't be visiting many playoff-bound teams any time soon. Five of their next six games are against teams with the worst records this season, starting with Cleveland (22-45).

While it will surely be emotional -- after all, James is coming home, again -- Miami would have to simply lay an egg to lose on Wednesday. The Cavs are incredibly banged up and out of the playoff race. Kyrie Irving is out, Anderson Varejao's season is over and on Tuesday, Cleveland revealed that guard Dion Waiters may need surgery to repair a problem in his left knee.

Yes, the Cavaliers nearly knocked off the Heat in Miami on Feb. 24, but Waiters and Irving combined for 43 points in that upset bid. They'll combine for zero on Wednesday for Cleveland, which has lost three straight and seven of nine.

Miami won last month's matchup 109-105 and also came away with a 110-108 victory in the first meeting of the season Nov. 24. The Heat are 8-1 against the Cavaliers since James bolted for South Beach following the 2009-10 season, with the reigning league MVP averaging 26.4 points, 6.9 assists, 6.2 rebounds and shooting 51.2 percent -- similar numbers to what he's put up this season.

"I think you can give the (MVP) trophy to him right now," Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said. "He's the best player in the league right now, and he's playing like it."

Despite his team's injury situation, Scott says Cleveland is confident heading into this matchup, especially since its two losses in the series this season have come by a total of six points.

"Anything can happen," Scott said. "Just like boxers. James Buster Douglas against Mike Tyson. Nobody in the world thought it would happen. ... We have to play probably our best game of the season because they're playing at a different level than everybody else.

"I'm sure from their standpoint, they're on a high. When you're playing that well, you have to have some luck in there during that streak. But you almost get to the point you feel you're invincible, that you can't lose."

This is the end of a five-game trip for the Heat, who return home to face Detroit (23-46) on Friday and NBA-worst Charlotte (15-52) on Sunday before starting another four-game stretch away from home.

"It's a special opportunity that we have with this group and you don't want to take it for granted," coach Erik Spoelstra said. "You want to treat every day as a special opportunity to be with this group, to share these moments together, but more importantly to take a step closer to going after our goal and every day that we improve puts us in a better position in a quest where nothing is guaranteed for anybody."

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