The Cavaliers Cavaliers, in beating the Miami Heat for the second time this year, got something of a throwback night from Kevin Love.
It wasn’t Love starting and playing 30-plus minutes like he might have a few years ago. But in 24 minutes off the bench, Love scored a season-high 23 points on 6-10 shooting to go with 9 rebounds. All of Love’s points came in the second half in the Cavs’ 105-94 win.
Love was also 6-6 from the free throw line and, as a team, Cleveland finished 17-18 on free throws on Monday night vs. a 5-9 mark for Miami. In a game that got close for a stretch in the second half, that made a difference.
Isaac Okoro, continuing what is perhaps his best stretch of play this season, finished with 18 points and 5 rebounds and was 4-8 from three. Darius Garland added 16 points and and 5 assists, while Ricky Rubio had 7 points and 7 assists. Rubio also become the 11th active NBA player to record 5,000 career assists. His 5,000th assist, in fact, was a pass to Love spotting up for three in the corner.
With the win, the Cavs are now five game above .500. It’s the first time they have been five or more games above .500 without LeBron James on their roster since the 2000-2001 season.
Up next: The Cavs host the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. EST.