LeBron, Shaq return to lineup for Cavs-Heat matchup

Updated: February 1, 2007, 11:29 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

MIAMI -- Shaquille O'Neal and LeBron James were both in the lineup Thursday night as the Miami Heat beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 92-89.

Meeting of Basketball Minds
Dwyane Wade
LeBron James
Dwyane Wade got the best of LeBron James again on Thursday. Wade scored 41 points and has at least 20 points in each of his last 13 games, setting personal and franchise marks. He also scored a team-record 24 points in the fourth quarter to secure the win. Here are the numbers when the stars collide:
  James Wade
Wins 4 8
PPG 27.9* 25.8
RPG 5.4 5.5
APG 7.7 5.5
*41.0 average in 4 games last season (2-2)

O'Neal, who has missed much of the season with a knee injury, returned to the Heat after sitting out their last two games because of a calf injury. He scored 16 points and pulled down eight rebounds in 28 minutes before fouling out.

James sat out two of Cleveland's previous three games because of a sprained right big toe. He looked uncomfortable for stretches of the game and shot poorly, making only six of 18 attempts. He did finish with 17 points, six rebounds and nine assists but missed some key free throws down the stretch.

"It's not 100 percent, but I feel pretty good," James said. "It's the best I felt since I injured it."

Before the game, Heat coach Ron Rothstein said point guard Jason Williams would miss his second straight game with an abdominal strain.

It was James' first chance to play against Heat guard Dwyane Wade in the regular season since April 1 of last year. In that game, James scored 47 points and Wade had 44 as the Cavaliers won.

"It's a big game, right here, the first time LeBron and myself will take the court since our instant classic," Wade told the Miami Herald before the game. "You want him to play. Hopefully his toe is feeling better and he can play the way LeBron can play. I know the kind of competitor he is. I never thought he wasn't going to play."

Wade won this latest installment of their rivalry, scoring 41 points, including a team-record 24 in the fourth quarter of the Heat's victory.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.