Cavs Can't Cap Comeback in Miami
Wrap-Up – The Heat might’ve gotten out of Saturday’s affair with the win, but the Cavaliers made sure they knew they were in a fight. After trailing by 19 points early in the second half, the Cavaliers clawed back to take a five-point lead late in the affair. But Miami pulled ahead on a LeBron James layup and pulled away for the 114-107 win – snapping the Cavaliers’ win streak at three games.
Six Cavaliers notched double-figures, led by Kyrie Irving, who went 6-for-16 from the floor for 19 points to go with three assists and a team-high four steals. Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson followed up with 16 points apiece. Waiters netted nine of his 16 in the fourth quarter; Thompson scored nine of his in the third. Jarrett Jack finished with 14 points, five boards, four assists and a steal. Earl Clark tallied 12 points off the bench and Alonzo Gee added 10.
Saturday’s contest was, at times, a contentious affair – with Coach Mike Brown getting the heave-ho with 3:14 remaining in the first half. In the fourth quarter, as the Cavaliers were making their comeback, Dwyane Wade had words for rookie Matthew Dellavedova.
The Heat were paced by their big three. LeBron led everyone with 25 points, Wade added 24 and Chris Bosh doubled-up with 22 points and a dozen boards.
Turning Point – It’s not easy to pick a turning point in a game with eight ties and 14 lead-changes, but the Cavaliers made their big push in the early minutes of the fourth quarter. Earl Clark scored five quick points to get the Wine and Gold to within four, 89-85. Waiters splashed down a trey of his own on the next possession and, after a Norris Cole floater put Miami back up three – Dellavedova hit a three-pointer to tie the game. It was back-and-forth the rest of the way.
Game Ball – Tristan Thompson – Almost everyone pitched in to Saturday’s solid effort on South Beach, but Thompson’s aggression coming out of the halftime locker room set the tone for the Cavaliers second half. Cleveland began the period down 16 points, but Thompson would score eight of the Cavs’ first 10 points in the quarter. In the third – as the Cavs outscored Miami, 28-16 – Tristan finished 3-of-6 from the floor, 3-of-4 from the stripe – adding four boards and a steal.
By the Numbers – 9.2 … rebounds Anderson Varejao is averaging off the bench this season, one of the highest rebounding totals for a reserve in the last 20 years, behind only Tyson Chandler (9.9, 2004-05), Jayson Williams (9.7, 1995-96) and Jerome Williams (9.5, 1999-00).
Up Next – The Cavaliers return home, but the work doesn’t get any easier when they welcome the Western Conference-leading Portland Trail Blazers to The Q on Tuesday night. They stay home for a Friday night meeting with Milwaukee then hit the road for their third meeting with Chicago this season next Saturday night in the Windy City.