The Cleveland Cavaliers continued their three-game road trip Friday night in Miami against the Heat.
Miami had their biggest lead of 17 points in the third as they defeated the Cavs 117-105 at FTX Arena.
With the loss, the Cavs’ (38-28) two-game winning streak is over, while the Heat (45-23) have won four out of five.
The Great for the Cavs:
-For the fourth straight game, Darius Garland recorded a double-double. He had 24 points, and 10 assists, including a career-high 15 free throws made(15/16 FT). The All-Star struggled from the floor(4/17 FG), but he made up at the line. Garland has 20 double-doubles this season, which is also a career-high.
-For the third consecutive game, Evan Mobley had a double-double. The rookie had 19 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists. Mobley got his second straight start at center and played well, and he now has the most double-doubles(18) among rookies.
Second Quarter: Cleveland trailed 28-18 after the first quarter and trailed by as many as 14 points(46-32) in the second, but the Cavs picked things up. They went on a 22-7 run to take their first lead of the game and trailed 58-57 at the break. Cleveland shot 68% from the floor, including 60%(3/5) from deep, and outscored the Heat 39-30 in the quarter.
The Not So Great for the Cavs:
Third Quarter: After a Garland free throw, the Cavs had a five-point lead, which was their largest of the game, but from there, Miami went on a 27-9 run to take complete control of the game.
Miami raised the Heat on the defensive end. Cleveland shot 4/16(25%) from the floor, including 1/7(14%) from three-point range. The Heat outscored the Cavs 27-15 in the third.
Turnovers: Cleveland had 18 turnovers, which led to 30 points for Miami. If you’re trying to beat the best team in the East, you can’t turn the ball over that many times. The Cavs are a young team, and young teams can be sloppy at times. Currently, the Cavs are 28th in the NBA in turnovers per game.
Look, the Heat have the best record in the East for a reason, and they showed that Friday night.
Cleveland has back-to-back games on the road against two of the top teams in the East, so hopefully, for them, they can try to get the split against the Bulls Saturday night.
The Cavs have to be better on the defensive end, especially with 30 points in street clothes(Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert). In two out of their last three wins, Cleveland held their opponents below 100 points, so they have to defend at a high level if they want to win.
As for the standings, the sixth-seeded Cavs are two games behind the fifth-seeded Celtics(41-27) and two games ahead of the seventh-seed, the Raptors.
Cleveland concludes their three-game homestand in Chicago against the Bulls.
Best of the Rest:
Bam Adebayo had game-highs of 30 points and 17 rebounds; Jimmy Butler added 24 points, and Tyler Herro chipped in with 22 points off the bench.
-LeVert(foot) missed his eighth straight game.