CLEVELAND(AP) With the game building to its crescendo and the crowd expecting the MVP candidates to soar, LeBron and D-Wade simply stepped aside.
Mo Williams took over.
Williams scored 12 of his 29 points in the final 7:12 and LeBron James recorded a triple-double as the Cleveland Cavaliers quickly shook off any hangover from a disappointing loss at Boston by beating Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat 99-89 on Saturday night.
Unleashing his full offensive repertoire on the Heat, Williams showed why the Cavaliers have a legitimate shot at winning an NBA title this season.
Finally, James has a partner he can count on.
"Mo's a great player,'' said James, who finished with 14 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. "It's no surprise to us what he can do out there. It's kind of surprising to you guys because you're not used to having two guys put up these kind of numbers on the same (Cleveland) team. It's been a while, since what, Brad Daugherty and Mark Price?''
Wade was ejected - for the first time in his career - in the final minute after being assessed a second technical foul. Miami's superstar was upset after he didn't call in the lane with the Heat down by just six points. He finished with 25 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds before being sent to the showers.
"We felt we got some bad calls,'' Wade said calmly. "Tempers got hot. I felt I got fouled and there was no call. So my temper got hot. I deserved the tech. That's it.''
While running their home record to 28-1, the Cavaliers, outclassed by the Celtics on Friday night, improved to a league-best 13-2 in back-to-back games. They are also 12-1 following a loss.
"It's something we've been able to do this year,'' James said. "It's something we really haven't been good at in the past, but we've been able to bounce back from certain losses and games where we thought we could play a lot better. We're able to come back and forget about it. It's definitely positive.''
Delonte West added 19 points for the Cavaliers, who played their fifth game in seven nights.
James and Wade did not quite reprise their South Floridian scoring-fest from earlier in the week when the superstars - and, along with Kobe Bryant, MVP frontrunners - combined for 83 points in Cleveland's comeback win. But while the league's top two scorers didn't shoot the lights out, they stuffed the boxscore and provided the sellout crowd with several memories.
But it was Williams who shined brightest.
Cleveland's point guard, who scored 15 of his 30 points in the last 7:14 of Cleveland's comeback win on Monday in Miami, scored on two drives and hit a 3-pointer that put the Cavs ahead 89-76. Williams then hit a 9-foot runner and dropped both foul shots after the technicals.
"Mo Williams went off for nine straight,'' Wade said. "That hurt us. You focus so much on LeBron and you've got another player that's hurting you like he hurt us the last two times we've played them. That's tough to overcome.''
So is losing your best player.
The Heat were down 91-85 when Wade slashed to the basket and flung up an off-balance shot while drawing contact. His shot didn't fall, but he hit the floor - hard. As play continued, he looked up at the officials pleading for a whistle and Miami coach Erik Spoelstra ran to midcourt screaming in disbelief.
Spoelstra was given a technical, and Wade was hit with his second "T'' moments later. Wade clapped sarcastically and peeled off tape on his fingers before heading to the locker room as the pro-Cleveland crowd booed.
"My reaction?'' James said. "Great. That was good for us.''
James went over 3,000 assists in the third quarter when he fed Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who knocked down an outside shot to put the Cavs ahead 62-48. James (24 years, 67 days) is the second-youngest player in league history to eclipse the plateau. Only Isiah Thomas (23 years, 322 days) was younger.
Jermaine O'Neal had 19 points and rookie Michael Beasley 15 for the Heat, which blew an 11-point lead in the fourth on Monday to the Cavaliers.
Notes: Cavs F Joe Smith, re-signed earlier this week by Cleveland, made his home debut and received a loud ovation when he checked in for the first time in the opening period. Smith had nine points. ... Wade, who has been tight with James for years, embraced his buddy's mom, Gloria, before the opening tap. ... The Cavaliers are 36-6 when leading after the first quarter. ... Cleveland has won six of seven over Miami. ... Beasley left briefly in the fourth quarter with a slight ankle injury. He was treated in the locker room and returned.