Cavaliers 84 - HEAT 99 Game Recap

Goran Dragic
Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
by Joe Beguiristain

The Miami HEAT defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 99-84 Saturday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Dwyane Wade and Tyler Johnson led the way for the HEAT with 19 points apiece.

1. The Dragon Stays Hot

After one of his best performances of the season on Thursday night, Goran Dragic picked up right where he left off. The point guard came out of the gate absolutely on fire against the Cavaliers and totaled 10 points and four assists in just the first quarter alone. Dragic hit all four of his shots in the opening period, but also set up his teammates very well. Thanks to the Slovenian, Miami displayed crisp ball movement early on, which enabled the team to go up by double-digits. Perhaps Dragic’s prettiest pass of the night came in transition where he does the most damage.

With 5:37 to go in the second quarter, Dragic ran the break with Wade on his right and Gerald Green and Chris Bosh to his left. Dragic took it right to Matthew Dellavedova and hit Wade with the nifty behind-the-back-pass. From there, Wade hit the tough banker to put Miami up 46-33.

View the Play

While Dragic found the range from the perimeter, he also had some tough finishes inside, including one in the second quarter over Timofey Mozgov. In short, he had the entire repertoire on display and continued to stay hot throughout the game. Dragic finished the game with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting and a game-high eight assists.

2. Ball Movement + Balance = Victory

As mentioned before, the HEAT displayed good ball movement against Cleveland. The team tallied 21 assists on 37 made field goals, which led to it shooting 54.4 percent on the night. As a result, five Miami players reached double-figures in scoring.

In particular, Wade’s burst in the third quarter was important to preserve the team’s double-digit lead. Wade scored 10 of his 19 points in the third, as he moved off the ball very well and had some nifty drives to the rack. Bosh, meanwhile, was 5-of-6 from the field and had a phenomenal two-handed slam after Dragic drove baseline and found him cutting from the elbow.

View the Dunk

In total, Bosh had 14 points, six boards and three assists.

3. Green Gets Nasty

You should already know by now that Green is freakishly athletic. On Saturday night against the Cavaliers, Green showed that to Dellavedova loud and clear.

With 2:51 left in the first half, Green hit Richard Jefferson with a head-fake at the right corner and aggressively drove down the baseline. He then elevated as if he jumped off a pogo stick and threw down a massive one-handed jam over Dellavedova and Mozgov.

Although that got the crowd out of their seats, Green did so much more to help lead the HEAT to victory. He competed very well on the defensive end and attacked the basket quite often. On one play in particular he came over from the weak side to contest a shot by Kevin Love in the post.

View the Defensive Play

In all, Green scored 12 points and had three boards on the night.

Game Note: Luol Deng (hamstring) and Amar’e Stoudemire (rehabilitative recovery) sat out.

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