The Cleveland Cavaliers continued their winning ways Monday night as they defeated the Miami Heat 105-94 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Cleveland led the whole second half, but in the fourth, Miami cut the Cavs lead to five with over eight minutes left. However, Cleveland would go on an 8-0 run to push the lead to 13. From there, the Cavs would have their largest lead of 16 and would coast the rest of the way.
The Cavs had five players in double figures Monday night.
Cleveland(17-12) has now won four straight for the third time this season, while the Heat’s(16-12) two-game winning streak was snapped.
The Great for the Cavaliers:
Second Half Kevin Love: The 13-year veteran got hot in the second half. Love scored a season-high 23 points, all in the second half. Love was 6/8 from the field in the second half, including five threes(5/7). He also added nine rebounds.
Love is shooting the ball well right now and has made three-plus threes in five consecutive games.
-Isaac Okoro has been solid in the last three games. He scored 18 points, including four threes(ties career-high) Monday night, and he also helped limit Duncan Robinson to six points on 1/7 from downtown.
This was Okoro’s third straight game of at least 16 points or more, and during this stretch, he’s averaging 18 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game. Furthermore, in the last three, Okoro is 7-14(50%) from three-point range.
-Jarrett Allen had 12 of his 18 points(6/6 FG) in the first half, and while his three-game double-double streak was snapped, he did grab eight rebounds and added a block.
Second Quarter: Cleveland outscored the Heat 32-19 in the quarter, and after trailing 25-23 in the first, the Cavaliers took a 55-44 lead at the break. Cleveland turned things up defensively as they held the Heat to 38% shooting from the floor, including 2/12 from three-point range(16.7%).
-Lamar Stevens did not give the Cavaliers much offensively(three points), but he gave Cleveland a big lift with his energy. He, along with Okoro, helped limit Miami’s three-point shooting as Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson were a combined 1/10 from three-point range.
The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:
Third Quarter: Miami started the third on a 10-0 to cut the Cavs’ 11-point halftime lead to one. The Heat outscored Cleveland 29-23 in the quarter. Miami shot the ball well in third as they ended the quarter, shooting 58% from the floor and making five threes(5/9). The Heat cut the Cavs’ lead to 78-73, heading into the fourth.
Cleveland is now 8-2 in their last 10 games and won those eight games by at least 11 points or more. In addition, five(Heat twice) of those eight wins are against teams above .500.
Every night it seems like someone different steps up for this team. Tonight, it was Love and Okoro.
The chemistry Cleveland has is special, and after 29 games, they are the fourth seed in the East. Unreal!!
“We’re living in the moment, but our big-picture goals are toward the end of the year,” Love said.
Cleveland’s three-game homestand concludes Wednesday night against the Rockets.
Best of the Rest:
Ricky Rubio had seven points and seven assists. Rubio hit a significant milestone Monday night as he recorded his 5,000 assist to the man he started his career in Minnesota with, Kevin Love.
Fitting that @rickyrubio9's 5,000th assist went to an old friend ❤️💛
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) December 14, 2021