Back on the South Beach after two finals wins from four finals appearances in his time there, James was afforded a warm reception from the crowd but on court there were no such luxuries.
He scored 30 points to give his side a chance but Dwayne Wade’s 31 and Luol Deng’s 25 made sure he was shut down.
The Heat victory also comes just 48 hours after a disappointing 91-87 defeat to the lowly Philadelphia 76ers.
Paul Gasol enjoyed a better time of it against his old side, as he led the Chicago Bulls to a win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Scoring 23 points he ensured the Bulls took advantage of Kobe Bryant being rested as they eased out 113-93.
MVP Kevin Durant missed out for the Oklahoma City Thunder but it made no difference as they beat champions San Antonio.
Russell Westbrook scored 34 points with 11 assists as Thunder won 114-106.
Elsewhere the Los Angeles Clippers found a way to silence the Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry, limiting him to 14 points in a 100-86 win, Jamal Crawford with 24 for the Clippers.
Finally, 34 points from Carmelo Anthony were in vain as Washington and John Wall beat the New York Knicks 102-91, with the Knicks sliding to the worst losing return in the competition with 26.