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Final Score: Cavs battle, but lose to Heat 115-101

Cleveland got good performances from its young core, but it wasn’t enough.

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers lost on Saturday night to the Miami Heat, but they shouldn’t feel too bad about their play.

In a 115-101 loss in Miami, the Cavs got strong performances from the bulk of the young core, but were ultimately outclassed by the Heat. Across the board, Miami shot better overall, shot better from three, held the biggest lead of the game, had the biggest scoring run and, ultimely, led for 45 of a possible 48 minutes.

Still: There were positives for the Cavs. Collin Sexton scored 26 points on 11-17 shooting and regularly got the best of Victor Oladipo. Darius Garland finished with 12 points and 8 assists against 3 turnovers. And, in maybe his best game as a pro, Isaac Okoro finished with 17 points on 5-7 shooting to go with a block and a steal. Notably, Okoro was 2-2 from three-point range and went 5-7 from the line.

Off the bench, Taurean Prince added 19 points. Kevin Love finished with a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double in 23 minutes in his second game back from injury. Cleveland was again without Jarrett Allen, Larry Nance Jr. and Dylan Windler due to injury.

Repeatedly, the Cavs were able to whittle down the Heat’s double-digit leads to single digits and keep the game competitive. However, every time in happened, Miami would go on a quick run, hit a few quick three-pointers and push its lead back up to double digits. Seven Heat players finished in double figures, including four of five starters.

Garland was ejected with 1:47 left to play after receiving a double technical. It appeared that he was unhappy with a foul call against him and was ejected for his reaction.

Up next: The Cavs are back in action on Monday against the Spurs. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. EST in San Antonio.