LeBron James thought his latest homecoming to Miami would be another walk in the park for his Cleveland Cavaliers. James Johnson and the Miami Heat had other plans, though.

The Heat hosted James and the Cavaliers on Tuesday evening (March 27). The game marked the first Miami meeting between James and Dwyane Wade since the guard's brief tenure in Cleveland fizzled out. That became a secondary narrative, however, after Johnson introduced himself as the new king in town.

Johnson defends the rim

The rare sequence came almost as soon as the opening buzzer sounded. Playing isolation ball, James made a beeline for the basket, with Johnson staying in step with his offensive opponent.

When the Cavalier looked to lay the ball in for an easy bucket, the Miami forward glued himself to the star [VIDEO], making sure that the ball had no chance of rolling its way into the bucket.

The defensive play set the tone for what would be a great defensive half from the Heat (more on that in a moment). It wasn't the only time in the first half James would face strong defensive pressure from Miami, though. Later in the half, James made another move towards the rim, only to be met with resistance from none other than Wade himself. This rejection was more emphatic, with a playful jab attached to it.

Clearly, the bucket wasn't as open for James as it was back when he was a championship-winning member of the Heat.

Heat lock down first half

By no means were the Cavaliers expecting to walk over the Heat when they arrived to play Miami on Tuesday. The South Beach team is battling for playoff position in the Eastern Conference and finding their groove at the right time. They couldn't have expected just how much they would be dominated in the first half, however, particularly when they went on offense.

When the halftime buzzer sounded, the Heat led the Cavaliers 54-34. Johnson was a key part of that dominance, scoring 11 points while grabbing three boards. Wade scored eight while blocking two shots, including that memorable rejection of James. The Cavalier didn't have a bad first half, scoring 13 points to go with four assists and three rebounds. He simply wasn't getting enough help from his teammates.

If James Johnson and the rest of the Miami Heat continue to play this style of lockdown defense for the rest of the game (and the rest of the season), they're going to prove to be a formidable opponent in the 2018 Eastern Conference Playoffs.