Early on, the Cavs looked ready to run Miami out of their own gym. Down Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, the Heat came out flat (28% on field goals, season-low 16 first-quarter points) in front of a lifeless arena, and the Cavs went into the second up 15 after a 19–2 run. And they would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for that meddling...Max Strus, and his 10-point second quarter?
Well, anyway, Strus could only stem the tide for so long; by halftime, the trio of Love, Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen had matched Miami’s point total with 43 points, and the Cavaliers entered the break up 61–43.
The second half followed a similar cycle to the first. In the third quarter, PJ Tucker quickly drained a pair of corner threes to trim the Heat deficit to 10, Evan Mobley scored 12 in the period including the Cavs’ first 10 points, and the Cavs pulled themselves together to push the lead to 24. Then it happened again in the fourth: Gabe Vincent drilled consecutive threes, the Heat brought it back to 17, the Cavs responded, and the Heat finally ran out of chances.
Also, this didn’t fit cleanly anywhere, but it’s important: the Cavs blocked 13 shots! Allen (5 blocks) and Mobley (4) controlled the paint in one of their most dominant tandem showings of the season.
The win extends the Cavs’ win streak to three. This was also the team’s first win in Miami since 2010.
Up next: The Cavs’ three-game road trip ends on Friday in D.C. against the Washington Wizards. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.