James, who decided to return to Cleveland in the off-season after winning two NBA titles in Miami alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, scored seven points in 20 minutes.
Love, who arrived in Cleveland via a blockbuster three-team trade sending top overall pick, Andrew Wiggins and last year’s top overall pick Anthony Bennett to the Minnesota Timberwolves, showed why Cleveland gave up so much for him in knocking down four out of five three-point attempts and 9-of-12 overall for the game.
Love would also grab seven rebounds in 26 minutes.
Brazilian-born center Anderson Varejao, who made a triumphant return to his native country in scoring 14 points, three rebounds in 20 minutes, would be serenaded by the HSBC Arena crowd.
Dion Waiters—playing point guard in place of the injured Kyrie Irving—looked solid in scoring 16 points, three assists, three rebounds, one steal and two blocks.
Other than an inadvertent screen that James set on his current teammate in shooting guard Matthew Dellandova for former teammate Norris Cole, Cleveland displayed a more balanced attack, improved outside shooting and a deep bench, which was able to help the Cavaliers escape a game in which they led by as many as 16 points.
Backup center and power forward, Tristan Thompson led all reserves with 18 points, nine rebounds followed by backup point guard A.J. Price who helped the Cavaliers withstand a late run by the Heat in regulation and in overtime with 12 points in 20 minutes including going three-of-four from three-point range.
Heat first-round pick, Shabazz Napier, a two-time national champion formerly of UConn, helped lead Miami’s late charge that would send the game into over time, finished with a team-best 16 points, three rebounds, seven assists and two steals for the Heat.
Stephen Holt’s three-pointer late in overtime would prove to be the game-winner for the Cavaliers, who improved to 2-0 in pre-season, while Miami dropped to 0-3.
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