Joe G's Running Game Blog
FINAL - MIA 100, CLE 96 ... Valiant effort by the shorthanded Wine and Gold, weathering a 25-point first quarter by LeBron James and playing without starters to stick with the World Champs through four quarters before falling in the closing seconds. Jarrett Jack led Clevelnad with 22 points while Dion Waiters doubled-up with 17 points and a career-high 11 assists; Anderson Varejao also doubled-up with 16 pts and 11 reb off the bench. LeBron led everyone with 41 points, but attempted just three field goal attempts in the second half.
25.2, 4Q - MIA 95, CLE 90 ... Miami has blocked Cavalier offerings on the last three possessions and are looking to pull away late; Bosh at the line; Waiters up slowly after coming down hard on his hip, came over to Cavs sideline.
2:20, 4Q - MIA 93, CLE 88 ... Two straight buckets by MIA makes it a two-possession game, Cavs need a bucket badly, but still tons of time; Waiters, 17 pts, 11 asst; Varejao, 17 pts, 11 reb; Bosh has last 9 MIA pts.
5:55, 4Q - MIA 86, CLE 85 ... Double-doubles for Waiters (17 pts, 10 asst) and Varejao (14 pts, 10 reb) as Cavs continue to stick right with the Champs; Cavs shooting 57 pct FG, MIA 48 pct; LeBron w/37 pts for MIA, but had 31 at half, has attempted just 2 FG in second half; six Cavs in double-figures.
Watch Highlight: Gee Putback Slam
End 3Q - CLE 79, MIA 79 ... Gutsy Cavs effort through 3Q, Cavs shooting 60 pct FG to MIA's 52 pct; D. Waiters, first career double-double -- 14 pts, career-high 10 assts; Andy, 14 pts, 6 reb off bench; Jack, 13 pts, 5-8 FG, 4 asst; Hawes, 11 pts, 5-8 FG; Gee, 10 pts, nice job on LeBron after 1Q; Tristan, 3-4 FG, 10 pts, 4 reb.
4:44 3Q - MIA 73, CLE 70 ... Cavs right there, all starters in double-figures -- Jack, 5-8 FG, 13 pts; Waiters, 12 pts, 9 assts; Hawes, Thompson, Gee, 10 pts apiece; LeBron at 35 pts, 13-of-17 FG; Cavs, 59 pct FG, MIA, 53 pct
Watch Highlights: First Half
End 1H - MIA 59, CLE 54 ... Nice effort by Cavs in 1H, went down by 14 and 12 at separate pts in 1Q but started 2Q on a 17-3 run to take a brief lead; LeBron at 31 pts, but Cavs getting contributions from everyone -- Jarrett Jack, 5-6 FG, 13 pts; Waiters, 10 pts, 7 assts; Hawes, 6 pts, 5 reb; Andy, 8 pts, 4 reb off bench; Gee, 7 pts, 3-5 FG; Cavs shooting 58 pct FG, MIA, 52 pct.
2:18, 2Q - MIA 52, CLE 51 ... Cavs come back to take a quick lead, but now it's back and forth, J. Jack, 13 pts, 5-6 FG; Andy, 8 pts, 4 reb; Waiters, 9 pts, 6 asst; LeBron with 31 pts.
7:44, 2Q - MIA 40, CLE 38 ... Excellent effort by Cavs so far, have weathered a pair of LeBron runs and are right in it without two starters; Cavs on a 15-3 run to start 2Q. Andy, big off bench, 8 pts, 2 stl, 4 reb; Delly, 5 pts, 3 asst; Waiters leads Cavs w/5 pts, 4 asst; Gee leads CLE w/7 pts; LeBron leads everyone w/26 pts.
End 1Q - MIA 37, CLE 25 ... Actually have to hand it to the Cavs for weathering that 1Q barrage by LeBron, just posted an arena record 25-point quarter and Cavs were within 5 after being down 14; LeBron late run at end of 1Q put MIA back up a dozen; Gee, 7 pts, Waiters, Jack, 5 pts apiece.
4:59, 1Q - MIA 23, CLE 13 ... LeBron with 16 of MIA's 23 pts, he's 6-of-7 FG, 4-5 3pt, just did a heat-check from 27 feet; shorthanded Cavs without starters Kyrie and Deng led by Waiters, 5 pts, 2-5 FG; Gee, 4 pts, including monster put-back dunk; Cavs, 50 pct FG, Heat, 62 pct.
PREGAME ... The Cavs come into Tuesday's contest a little beat up, with Luol Deng (left ankle) joining Kyrie Irving (left triceps) on the sideline for Cleveland, both are OUT for tonight's game. CJ Miles should see some limited action and Matthew Dellavedova, who's also nursing a sore left ankle, are ready to go. Rookies Anthony Bennett and Carrick Felix are both out for tonight as well. For the Heat, Dwyane Wade is OUT and Greg Oden will start.
Dion Waiters gets the start alonside Jarrett Jack and he's been good since returning from injury six games ago -- averaging 15.7 ppg. He started the first nine games of the season before being moved to the second unit -- where he's become the highest-scoring reserve in the East. Hawes comes in hot for the Wine and Gold, looking to notch his 12th straight double-scoring game on Tuesday. The Cavaliers will need it all from Waiters and Hawes tonight, and Alonzo Gee (getting the start in place of Deng) will have to be physical and aggressive with the reigning MVP.
With 15 games to go, the Cavs are 5.0 games behind the Hawks for the final playoff spot in the East. (New York is 4.0 back.) It's a difficult week to make a push -- with OKC and HOU on deck after tonight -- but it's getting pretty close to now or never for the Cavaliers.
Below is Mike Brown's pregame presser, basically addressing his shorthanded squad going against LeBron and Co.
Starting lineup: G Jack G Waiters, F Gee, F Thompson, C Hawes