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HEAT hold off Cavaliers 114 -107 with late fourth quarter rally

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The Big Three (and the other 12 as well) welcome Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers to the American Airlines Arena.

Jason Miller

Beasley is out for his fourth game in a row, but Wade is back in, and he is en fuego!.

First Quarter

Dwyane Wade put the HEAT up first, followed by a Cavs three. Then LBJ scored, followed by another Cavs three. You can't trade two's for three's all game long, and Wade was fouled driving to the basket next time down the court, making the shot but missing the freebie. Bosh made one of two free throws, then the Cavs made their third three-pointer in three shots. Wade then scored his fifth and sixth points of the game driving to the hoop. Still, the HEAT found themselves down 10-9 with only two minutes gone. James was fouled going to the hoop, then missed one-of-two from the line. The Cavs scored, then Chris Bosh got in on the action with a 17-footer to tie it at 12. Wade hit a streaking James under the basket for the lead, followed by a Kyrie Irving three which left the HEAT down 15-14. He sunk a two-pointer the next time down, followed by another Bosh jumper. Tristan Thompson made a easy shot look hard on the next possession, then Wade was again fouled driving to the hoop. Bosh collected a long rebound on a Mario Chalmers missed three, and hit James for a layup, 19-18 Cavs. I can't help but think at this point that Cleveland can't possibly keep scoring at this clip, then Thompson hits another jumper. Miami and Cleveland traded off two missed shots each before Irving hit a runner with five minutes left in the quarter for a five-point Cleveland lead. After a TV timeout, Irving fouled a driving Chalmers, who made both of his foul shots. James faked a three then drove for a layup, followed by a few missed opportunities for the Cavs to extend their small lead. LBJ drove again, drawing another foul and making them both for a 24-23 HEAT lead. Miami's lockdown defense led to a James slam dunk. The Big Three have at this point accounted for all 24 of Miami's 26 points. After a quick four-point Cavs run, Allen made a layup to take back the Miami lead. The Birdman had two blocks in under 30 seconds. Rashard Lewis drained Miami's first long distance shot of the night - while Allen turned the ball over twice in a row - unforced turnovers. Wade made another layup and stole the ball next time down. He held the ball for a second and hit a driving layup for a six-point HEAT lead. Miami 35, Cavs 29 after one quarter. James had 13, Wade had 10, and each player was five-for-five from the field.

Second Quarter

After a missed shot for each team, Birdman hit a straightaway three-pointer for an eight point Miami lead. Matthew Dellavedova hit a two for the Cavs and neither team looked very good at the beginning of the period. Anthony Bennett clubbed Wade near the basket for a trip to the stripe, where Wade sunk both. Jarrett Jack hit a 14-foot fadeaway, then Wade splashed down with a spinning fadeaway of his own. Dion Waiters nailed a three to cut Miami's lead to four. Wade was fouled again, and again made both shots for a six-point Miami lead. After an Anderson Varejao jumper, Wade missed his first shot of the night, followed by a Jack layup. Wade slammed one home, then Norris Cole stole the ball and threw it to James down the court - finishing the job himself when James fed him back. Thompson missed an uncontested 12-footer from the left side, then Wade drew another foul and two more foul shots. Miami forced the Cavs to rush to get a shot off the next time down, but Wade committed a rebounding foul to keep the ball in Cleveland's hands. The Cavs turned it over immediately, followed by a Bosh slam, a Chalmers steal, and an expired shot clock for Miami. The trend continued as Cleveland used all 24 seconds the next time down the court, drawing a foul from LBJ. Alonzo Gee made one-of-two from the stripe, followed by a hard foul on Chris Bosh in the paint. He somehow got it to fall, then tacked on the free throw for a 12-point HEAT lead. Mike Brown took offense to Miami's defense the next time down the court, drawing a technical foul and an ejection. Cole made one-of-two, then stole the ball and hit Bosh down court for another dunk. For a few minutes there, it was all Cole, who made another pretty move for two more points moments later. Miami was at that point on a 16-3 run, and led the Cavs by 15 points. A TV timeout and an unforced turnover later, Bosh scored two more. Thompson drew the hoop and the harm from Shane Battier, but missed the free throw. Bosh drove and sunka left handed layup, followed by a soft Gee slam. Bosh had another layup, and Irving answer with a 14-foot fadeaway. Wade assisted James on a layup, then the half ended. Miami 68, Cavs 52. Wade had 20, Bosh 18, and James 15 as the Big Three accounted for 78% of Miami's points, outscoring the Cavs by themselves. James also had five boards, three helpers and three steals, Chalmers had four dimes and two steals, and Bosh had six boards. Kyrie Irving led the Cavs with 11 points.

First Half Observations

  • Miami's defense didn't look so good through the first half, but who cares about the defense when you put up 68. They looked like the Don Nelson Golden State Warriors or the 1980's Denver Nuggets out there.
  • James didn't miss anything, going six-for-six from the floor.
  • Bosh was unstoppable late in the second quarter, and made eight-of-12 from the field.
  • Wade made seven-of-eight for a season half-high 20 points.
  • Chris Andersen's three-pointer was his first in three tries this season. It was the fifth made long distance bomb of his 12-season career.
  • Norris Cole got his pocket picked by Kyrie Irving and looked really surprised when it happened, but scored five with three assists and led the HEAT with a plus-15 rating.

Third Quarter

Battier opened the scoring with a tip in off a Chalmers miss. James stole the ball next time down, but was completely bear hugged by a Cav on the way to an easy basket, making one-of-two freebies. Thompson bulled his way to the hoop for a layin, cutting Miami's lead to 15. James had an unforced turnover, then the Cavs drew a fourth foul on Battier, sending him to the bench in favor of Rashard Lewis. A few more foul shots later, the Cavs had it down to 11 and were riding an eight-point run. Bosh broke the run next time down with a no-doubter, and after another Cleveland field goal, Wade missed two free throws - followed by a Chalmers three, his 27th of the campaign. Irving and Gee scored the next four, forcing the HEAT to take a timeout with a still nine-point lead. Chalmers dribbled it out of bounds to turn it over again, resulting ultimately in a Gee miss and a Bosh-to-James layup on the other end. Birdman emphatically blocked Irving for a layup, and ended up forcing a shot-clock violation when Irving missed a three badly. Miami was unable to capitalize, and the Cavaliers cut the lead down to five with a few free throws. Allen broke the drought after Birdman and Chalmers scrambled for a missed layup on Cleveland's end of the floor with a three-pointer on LBJ's careful cross-court assist.. The shot included Allen's 24,000th career point, the sixth active player to be over the mark. Cleveland made a three, Lewis missed one, Jack made a two, and the Cavs were only three points down. Birdman missed a two, but Allen sunk another three. Jack made a layup on an offensive rebound, and LBJ held the ball for a final shot, which Lewis missed. Miami 84, Cavs 80. It was a slow quarter for the big three, who only totaled six points (two for Bosh, four for James).

Fourth Quarter

Wade opened the fourth quarter with a field goal, and the Cavs answered with one of their own. Lewis finally made a three, but Cleveland answered with two of their own to bring the deficit to one. Cole hit a runner, and Waiters missed a slam dunk. James was called for a charge on the next trip down, leaving the lead at three. Dellavadova made a three pointer to knot the game at 91. Wade missed a long two-pointer, and Cleveland took the lead a moment later with a jumper. Cole missed his two pointer also, and Waiters made a difficult layup to extend Cleveland's lead to four. Wade halved it with a runner, and James made it a new ballgame with a spinning layup that made it 95-all. Waiters missed a shot, but was fouled questionably by Cole - and made both free throws. Rio answered with another three-pointer, and Bosh collected his ninth rebound on the return trip. Miami couldn't capitalize, and Waiters drove down the middle for a layup and a one point lead. LBJ's first three-point attempt of the night was a bit strong, and Varejao made one-of- two free throws the next time down. Bosh nailed a jumper off the inbound, and Chalmers made the rebound the next time down. James took the lead back for the HEAT by marching straight up the middle and sinking a two-footer over Varejao with 3:48 remaining. Cole made a layup and blocked a shot next time down. Allen was fouled going to the rim, and as always was automatic from the line, making it 106-100. James fouled Varejao, who made one-of-two for his trip to the line with two minutes left in regulation. Chalmers hit a corner three to put the lead back at eight. Cleveland made two freebies, and the HEAT started to run the clock down, ending with a missed James three-point attempt. Bosh blocked the next Cavs attempt with feeling, and the HEAT put it away as James was fouled driving for the hoop with 29.3 seconds left, scoring on one-of-two free throw attempts for a seven point lead. Varejao scored on a layup, and fouled Allen on the ensuing possession. That's always a bad bet, and Allen was true to form, making both foul shots with 20.9 seconds left. Irving quickly made a layup, and Cleveland fouled King James on the inbound. James made both shots with 14.5 seconds left - and the lead sitting at seven points. Irving missed his three point shot, and the HEAT ran the clock out for the win. Miami 114, Cleveland 107.

End of Game Observations

  • Miami lost an 18-point halftime lead, and trailed by four points midway through the fourth quarter before turning on the afterburners.
  • James led Miami with 25 points, nine assists, nine bouards, and four steals. He finished nine-of-12 overall.
  • Wade scored only four points in the second half after having put up 20 in the first. He shot nine-of-15.
  • Bosh scored 22 with 12 boards - his best rebounding game of the season - also making a key blocked shot as the clock wound down. His plus-15 rating ranked tops amongst the HEAT.
  • Allen scored 12 points, including his 24,000th.
  • Mario Chalmers sunk three-of-five from long distance, finishing with 11 points, five assists, and three boards.
  • Chris Andersen had three points, three blocks, and five boards in 18 minutes.
  • Kyrie Irving led six Cavs in double figures with 19 points. He shot six-of-16 from the floor, including three-of-nine from three-point range.
For more on this game, go to Fear The Sword. Up next for Miami, the Utah Jazz.