Kevin Love torches Heat for 32 points in first half

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The defensive-minded wing is back out against the Miami Heat on Tuesday.

During the Cleveland Cavaliers 113-91 win on the road over the Philadelphia 76ers, injured All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas made a decision to pay homage to one of his favorite players in league history.

The win over the Heat was Cleveland's ninth straight victory, after starting the season poorly losing six of their first 10 games.

James, meanwhile, made some history, as he was ejected for the first time in his 15-year career for arguing a no-call in the third quarter.

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Fitzgerald said he couldn't let James' actions go unpunished.

James, who was ejected for the first time in his career, finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and five steals.

Kevin Love led all players with a season-high 38 points, including 32 in a scintillating first half in which he equaled the most points ever scored in a half by a Heat opponent.

Smith scored nine of his 11 points in the third quarter, helping the Cavs increase their eight-point halftime lead to 13 heading into the fourth.

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He later added in his press conference: "I decided to choose another XI, I decided other team-mates were better for those games or occasions".

Love's effort helped Cleveland put together a pair of runs to take early control of the game, first jumping out to a 14-4 lead and then going on an 18-5 surge to take its largest lead of the quarter at 35-17.

Love added nine rebounds and shot 14 of 17 from the foul line in 26 minutes. ESPN's Dave McMenamin noted that Love holds the National Basketball Association record for first quarter points, scoring 34 against the Portland Trailblazers just over a year ago on November 23, 2016. Dragic, who averages a team-best 19.2 points, averaged just seven points on 6-of-19 shooting over a two-game span before breaking out and scoring at least 20 in the three contests.

"It started right from the beginning, we were playing on our heels, and they felt like a different level than us tonight", Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said following the game. At this point, it's nearly like they're trying to turn me into a jump shooter (by not calling fouls).

Love had 32 points at the break to join James Harden and Steph Curry as the only players who have scored 30 in a half this season (Harden has done so twice).

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Dwyane Wade added 17 points against his old team as the Cavaliers stayed ideal since a 5-7 start. Former Cav Dion Waiters paced Miami with 21 points. Cavs.com dissects some digits from the Cavaliers convincing consecutive wins against the Sixers and Heat in this installment of, "By the Numbers" presented by FanDuel.

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