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Final Score: Cleveland Cavaliers overcome poor start, beat Miami Heat 111-99

Cleveland should some real grit to get a win in Miami.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Miami Heat Photo by Rich Storry/Getty Images

It was not an easy start. It was not pretty for much of the game. It featured a long list of players on the floor.

But the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Miami Heat 111-99 on Friday night in South Beach. The win is Cleveland’s third straight.

Nightly Notables

Donovan Mitchell led the Cavs with 27 points to go along with 13 rebounds and 6 assists. Darius Garland added 18 points and 6 assists with a team-high +20 plus/minus despite being limited by foul trouble. In his return to Miami, Max Strus finished with 11 points on 4-17 from the field.

The Cavs lost the first quarter 25-17, but won the second 36-27 and the third 35-23 to overcome that slow start and get a win.

Well... that happened

Garland’s early foul trouble seemed to cause Cleveland the most issues. He had three fouls in the first and then a quick fourth in the second quarter that kept him on the bench for the rest of the half. When Garland isn’t playing well or isn’t on the floor, the Cavs suffer. Parts of this game were proof.

Garland still made history, though. Funny how that happens sometimes.

Also: Had no idea that Dean Wade had this in him. This was a really strong performance from Wade on both ends and this dunk was the highlight. Good on Craig Porter Jr. for kickstarting it was a block too.

Big Picture

For the Cavs to win in South Beach — a place they’ve historically struggled to win — without Evan Mobley and after the poor start is a nice feather in their cap. This is a good third straight win after the season low loss against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Have the Cavs turned some kind of corner? Unsure. It’ll be more clear after they finish up the next three road games, including a brutal back-to-back in Orlando and Boston on Monday and Tuesday.

But this is a good win, full-stop. They showed grit. They fought hard. Geroges Niang even almost fought someone. Aside from the win in Philadelphia a few weeks back, this is the Cavs’ best win of the year.

Up next: The Cavs are back in action on Monday against the Orlando Magic in the second game of the four-game road trip. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.