The Heat were impressive all game, scoring efficiently and maintaining the lead for almost the entire game to win their eleventh of the last twelve games
The Heat were one step closer to being whole with Bam Adebayo back in the lineup, and he didn’t waste any time starting the game by immediately dishing out an assist to Duncan Robinson.
The Cav’s defense was really solid, constantly switching and clogging the key. In slowing Miami down, the Cavs were able to go a 9-0 run. Coach Spo called an early timeout to adjust the offense and the results were immediate with Duncan hitting a big three from deep, and Jimmy drawing yet another foul on an And-1.
Miami also started to slash more often and it paid off with Butler and Olynyk both getting on the board. With Cleveland electing to trap, the Heat worked to find cutters for easy buckets.
Miami’s perimeter defense was outstanding, but it struggled to guard the paint with Cleveland’s bigs wreaking havoc.
Miami’s efficiency was amazing in the first quarter. Its Effective Field Goal Percentage in that quarter according to Cleaning the Glass was 81.6%. It’s shooting 85.7% at the rim and 100% from three. It doesn’t get much better than that.
The Heat struggled with turnovers to start the second, a credit to Cleveland’s aggressive defense. Cleveland did a great job anticipating passes and rushing the lane. In doing so Cleveland went on an 8-0 lead to pull right back within striking distance. Once again Miami adjusted, slowing the offense down.
The Heat didn’t struggle for long with Herro heating up and putting up 6 straight points to give Miami a little bit more breathing room.
After scoring 37 in the first quarter, Miami struggled to score in the second only putting up 25 points. That corrected itself as the Heat ended the first half with momentum as Jimmy feasted on the Cleveland defense, scoring 7 in the quarter. The Heat would take a 62-48 lead into the second half.
After a cold first half, Kendrick Nunn rattled off multiple buckets to get the Heat going scoring 7 of Miami’s first 9 second-half points.
Duncan has been impressive since the All-Star break. With so much pressure, he struggled to score from three but has adjusted nicely. Not by altering his shot by driving or anything, but just being able to hit incredibly difficult shots with a hand in his face.
With Miami’s offense firing, the Heat was able to take its largest lead of the evening going up 21 with some outstanding play by Jimmy, Kelly, and even KZ Okpala.
The Heat didn’t slow down with Bam taking over and the Heat reserves continuing to maintain the lead. The Heat was up 19 headed into the fourth quarter.
Miami was in cruise control most of the fourth with Goran Dragic facilitating and Duncan Robinson continuing to score from deep and Jimmy casually doing work in the key. While Miami didn’t score as much in the quarter, its defense really kept Cleveland at bay. Something to note, Dragic hasn’t scored well the last two games, but he’s passing better, it’ll be something to keep an eye on going forward.
Cleveland mounted an assault towards the end, but strong play by Jimmy (even though he rolled his ankle, again) and Bam kept things out of reach and led Miami to their fifth straight game.