LeBron James scored 24 points and added five rebounds and five assists in the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-92 win over LeBron James and the Miami Heat on Friday night.
James also had two assists and three steals in his first game back from a sprained left ankle that forced him to miss most of the season.
It was his first career double-double, which ties him for the league lead among players who have at least 30 points and 10 assists.
The Cavs (6-5) also won their fourth straight game and improved to 6-1 when leading after eight quarters.
“I think it was a good step in the right direction,” James said.
“We’re not there yet, but we got a lot of good work to do to be there.”
Kyrie Irving had 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Cavs, who have won five of six.
“He’s playing at a high level, and I think he’s the one for the team right now,” Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said.
James scored 20 points in the first quarter, but his teammates were playing more aggressively in the second half and Cleveland had a chance to pull away early.
After shooting a season-high 34.4 percent, James missed his first two shots of the second quarter as Miami (6 -6) outscored the Cavs 22-2.
“It was a tough night, but it’s not the end of the world,” Irving said.
Irving finished with 18 points and eight assists in 29 minutes off the bench.
“A lot of it was the way we played,” Cleveland coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Miami had the ball in its own end in the fourth quarter and James took a 3-pointer with 6:42 remaining.
But James missed a wide-open layup, and the Heat led by 11 heading into the final period.
James had nine assists and seven rebounds in the win.
The Cavaliers have won nine straight games over James.
“The guy just keeps playing, and it’s just the way he plays,” Heat forward Chris Bosh said.
It wasn’t all Cleveland success.
The Heat missed two free throws with 3:58 left and then had a turnover that led to a free throw.
James finished with seven points and four rebounds.
“This is the type of team that can take it to them,” Heat coach Erik Heat said.
The game was a game between the teams’ two best players.
James led the Cavs to a 106-102 win on Feb. 17, 2011, when the Heat were playing the Cleveland Mavericks.
James and Wade each scored 20 of their 25 points that night.
The two players have never played in a game together.
James is averaging 27.0 points on 62.0 percent shooting in his last three games versus the Heat.
The Miami game was the third of five games between the two teams this season.