Cavs Get Defensive to Beat the Heat

Cavs Win Third Straight at Home, Drop Miami in Cool-Shooting Contest
David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

Wrap-Up -- It sure wasn’t a thing of beauty, but for the way most of January has gone for the Wine & Gold – they’ll take it.

One night after absorbing one of the worst losses of the season, the Cavaliers were just good enough to pull past Miami, relying on their much-maligned defense to get the 91-89 win on Wednesday night at The Q.

Both teams struggled offensively in this one – with the Cavaliers shooting just 35 percent to 43 percent for Miami. But the Heat were abysmal from long-range, going 3-for-28 from deep. Cleveland wasn’t much better, going 6-for-26. The difference wound up being that sixth three-pointer – one that Jae Crowder stuck to put the Cavaliers up three – 88-85 – with 1:21 to play in regulation.

The Heat got to within one on their next possession, but couldn’t get over the hump the rest of the way – with Isaiah Thomas and Kyle Korver connecting from the stripe to preserve the much-needed victory.

LeBron James led both squads with 24 points – going 8-of-21 from the floor against his former squad, adding a game-high 11 boards, five assists and a steal.

Isaiah Thomas struggled from the floor again, but was lethal from the line – and his two free throws with 18 seconds to play helped seal the deal. Overall, the two-time All-Star finished with 13 points, going just 2-for-15 from the floor but a perfect 9-of-9 from the stripe, adding a team-high six assists and a game-high four steals.

Jae Crowder, back in the starting lineup in the first game after Kevin Love fractured his left hand the previous evening in Motown, added 11 points – going 4-of-7 from the floor, including the go-ahead triple in the closing moments.

Channing Frye, who will also see extended action with Love on the shelf, followed up his season-high 20-point performance on Tuesday with another solid showing at The Q – leading all reserves with 16 points, going 6-of-9 from the floor in 21 productive minutes off the bench.

Goran Dragic led Miami with 18 points and six assists and Josh Richardson chipped in with 15 points, but the Heat didn’t get much from their reliable big man, Hassan Whiteside – who was limited to just nine points and eight boards in the loss.

Isaiah Thomas


Cavs get contributions all around in win against the Heat.

Miami outscored Cleveland in the paint, 53-32, but the Cavaliers made 13 more trips to the stripe in Wednesday’s win – giving the Wine & Gold just enough to outlast the young team right on their heels in the Eastern Conference standings.

Turning Point -- The Cavaliers were up two TDs early in Wednesday’s affair, but Miami would wind up taking a two-point lead into intermission. From that point, it was a back-and-forth affair – featuring 12 ties and 11 lead-changes in the second half.

Neither team led by more than four points in the final period – with Cleveland taking a four-point edge on Kyle Korver’s bomb midway through the fourth. Miami erased that lead and tied the contest at 81-apiece on James Johnson’s layup.

Kelly Olynyk gave Miami a two-point lead that was quickly negated by a LeBron James layup. Olynyk responded with a layup on the other end – setting the stage for Crowder’s three-pointer on Cleveland’s next possession, giving the Cavs a three-point edge and just enough to hang on for their 30th win of the season.

By the Numbers14.3, .600, .500 … Channing Frye’s scoring average, shooting percentage (15-of-25) and three-point percentage (7-of-14) over his last three outings.

QuotableIsaiah Thomas, on getting through his first month of action after his return to health …

”(January) was definitely my preseason. It’s been a tough month for us, but to end on a good note is always good. Now we look forward to February and trying to end (the first half of the month) before All-Star weekend on an even better note.”

Up Next -- After beating the Heat on Wednesday night at The Q, the Cavaliers start out the month of February with a marquee home matchup, welcoming James Harden and the Rockets to town for a nationally-televised tilt on Saturday. They’re on the road for four of the next five games before the All-Star Break – traveling to Orlando on Tuesday night, returning home for a Wednesday night matchup against Minnesota, and rounding out the unofficial first half with a three-game trip – traveling to Atlanta, Boston and Oklahoma City.

Calls of the Game

#CavsHeat Postgame Wrap-Up presented by Rocket Mortgage

Cavs.com's Fred McLeod checks in from The Land to wrap-up the Wine & Gold's victory against the Heat on Wednesday.

Cavs vs. Heat - January 31, 2018

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#CavsHeat Postgame Wrap-Up presented by Rocket Mortgage

Cavs.com's Fred McLeod checks in from The Land to wrap-up the Wine & Gold's victory against the Heat on Wednesday.
Feb 1, 2018  |  03:35

#CavsHeat Postgame: LeBron James - January 31, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Wednesday's 91-89 victory over the Miami Heat at Quicken Loans Arena.
Jan 31, 2018  |  04:39

#CavsHeat Postgame: Tristan Thompson - January 31, 2018

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson spoke with the media following Wednesday's 91-89 victory over the Miami Heat at Quicken Loans Arena.
Jan 31, 2018  |  02:01

#CavsHeat Postgame: Kyle Korver - January 31, 2018

Cavaliers guard Kyle Korver spoke with the media following Wednesday's 91-89 victory over the Miami Heat at Quicken Loans Arena.
Jan 31, 2018  |  01:54

#CavsHeat Postgame: Jae Crowder - January 31, 2018

Cavaliers forward Jae Crowder spoke with the media following Wednesday's 91-89 victory over the Miami Heat at Quicken Loans Arena.
Jan 31, 2018  |  02:31

#CavsHeat Postgame: Coach Lue - January 31, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media following Wednesday's 91-89 victory over the Miami Heat at Quicken Loans Arena.
Jan 31, 2018  |  03:41

#CavsHeat Postgame: Channing Frye - January 31, 2018

Cavaliers forward Channing Frye spoke with the media following Wednesday's 91-89 victory over the Miami Heat at Quicken Loans Arena.
Jan 31, 2018  |  02:40

#CavsHeat On-Court Postgame: LeBron James - January 31, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with FOX Sports Ohio's Allie Clifton following Wednesday's 91-89 victory over the Miami Heat at Quicken Loans Arena.
Jan 31, 2018  |  01:37

GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 91, Heat 89

LeBron James leads the Cavaliers to a close 91-89 win over the Heat with 24 points and 11 rebounds.
Jan 31, 2018  |  02:11

Featured Highlight: LBJ's Clutch And-One

With under 2:30 left in the fourth quarter, LBJ takes a foul and grabs the extra two points to put his squad in the lead over the Miami Heat.
Jan 31, 2018  |  00:12

Korver Nails Corner Trey

Kyle Korver hits a corner three with just seven minutes left in the Cavaliers' game against the Miami Heat.
Jan 31, 2018  |  00:12

Cavs Work Together to Grab Steal

LBJ and Channing make it tough on Miami in the paint before swatting and stealing the ball in the fourth quarter.
Jan 31, 2018  |  00:15

Jae Hits Slick Reverse Layup

Jae Crowder strolls along the baseline before knocking down a pretty reverse layup midway through the third quarter against the Miami Heat.
Jan 31, 2018  |  00:09

Highlight in freeD: LBJ Hits from Deep

Experience LeBron James' deep first quarter trey with this highlight in freeD.
Jan 31, 2018  |  00:10

Highlight in freeD: I.T. Nails Jumper

Experience Isaiah Thomas' quick jumper with this highlight in freeD.
Jan 31, 2018  |  00:09

Highlight in freeD: Jae Hits Tough Basket

Experience Jae Crowder's tough second quarter layup with this highlight in freeD.
Jan 31, 2018  |  00:13

T.T. Goes Up for Huge Block

Tristan Thompson sends back a Miami Heat shot late in the second quarter.
Jan 31, 2018  |  00:11

Wade Says 'Get That Weak Stuff Outta Here'

Dwayne Wade keeps Miami off the board with a big time block midway through the second quarter.
Jan 31, 2018  |  00:09

JR Hits Teardrop Shot

JR Smith spins and drives before fooling Miami defenders with a high, teardrop shot early in the second quarter.
Jan 31, 2018  |  00:11

Swish Picks Off Full-Court Pass

JR Smith is "More Driven" after snagging a full-court pass meant for a member of the Miami Heat midway through the first quarter.
Jan 31, 2018  |  00:12

LBJ Knocks Down Pretty Jumper

LeBron knocks down a pretty slick jump shot to give the Cavaliers an early advantage over the Miami Heat.
Jan 31, 2018  |  00:10

LBJ Honored for NBA Cares Community Assist Award

Before the Cavs game against the Miami Heat on January 31, NBA Cares Ambassador Bob Lanier presented the December Community Assist Award to LeBron James during an on-court ceremony.
Jan 31, 2018  |  01:10