LeBron James had 22 of his 32 points in a dominant first quarter that led the visiting Miami Heat to a 101-90 win over the New Jersey Nets on Saturday night.
James, who returned to the lineup after missing Friday's game against Indiana with an ankle injury, made 11 of 17 shots as the Heat remained the only unbeaten road team in the NBA despite playing without fellow superstar Dwyane Wade (foot). James added nine assists and seven rebounds while Chris Bosh chipped in with 16 points.
Kris Humphries had a team-high 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Nets, who shot just 10 for 33 from 3-point range one night after hitting 15 of 31 attempts in a win over Toronto.
The Nets whittled a 22-point halftime deficit down to 10 before Miami responded, with Shane Battier and Norris Cole connecting on back-to-back 3s with just over three minutes left in the third quarter. James managed just two points in the period, but the Heat still led 78-64 entering the fourth.
Miami quelled one last Nets surge with a 7-2 run highlighted by five straight points from Bosh, and cruised the rest of the way to improve to 8-1 on the season.
James was a one-man wrecking crew in the opening quarter, hitting all seven of his shots from the field while outscoring the Nets by himself. He had five points during a game-opening 10-0 run, and he was the lone Miami scorer in a 15-6 stretch late in the quarter that helped the Heat open up a 31-18 edge.