MIAMI (AP) - Once again, LeBron James helped the Cleveland Cavaliers reach a milestone in the NBA standings.
First to 40 wins one year. First to 40 losses the next.
Dwyane Wade scored 26 of his 34 points in the first half, James finished with 24 points and eight assists and the Miami Heat beat the Cavaliers for the third time since the two-time MVP changed cities, winning 117-90 Monday night to hand Cleveland its 21st straight loss - as many as it dropped in the entire 2009-10 regular season.
Cleveland (8-40) is now two losses shy of tying the single-season NBA futility streak record shared by the 1995-96 Vancouver Grizzlies and 1997-98 Denver Nuggets. Overall, the Cavaliers have lost 31 of 32 games, along with 24 straight on the road.
This game had a few moments of hope for the Cavaliers. They were down by 19 in the first half, when Wade was almost unguardable for stretches.
Quietly, Cleveland started putting together good stretch after good stretch, getting within 70-67 in the third quarter.
Was this going to be the night?
Not a chance. James had nine points in a 19-5 run to close the third quarter, Miami's lead was 89-72 entering the fourth, and it turned into a romp from there.
The Heat (34-14) moved within 2 1/2 games of Boston for the best record in the Eastern Conference. Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 12 points and a season-high 14 rebounds.