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Five Stars: Dethroned

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The Heat unseated “The King,” with a tough-fought, eight-point road win over the Cavaliers.

NBA: Miami Heat at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Five Stars is a Hot Hot Hoops exclusive where we dig into the box score of each Heat game and pick apart the numbers under the numbers. The top five players are the Five Stars, regardless of which team they player for. I used the GameScore metric, with a slight adjustment for plus/minus to rank the players. This article is about Miami’s 106-98 win over the defending NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

First Star

LeBron James (CLE) 28.6

In a sight familiar to Heat fans, James drew fouls at will, making it to the stripe a game-high 10 times and making six of them. He went 11-for-22 from the field, to include two-of-five from deep. He also pulled down a game-high 17 rebounds (three offensive) in 38:41, with six helpers, a steal, a blocked shot, a plus-14 rating, and a game-best 24.0 estimated PER to go with his 30 points for the night.

Second Star

Dion Waiters (MIA) 21.8

Waiters scored 29 points to lead the Heat to their second win in a row against the Cavaliers, 23 of them in the first half of play. He made 12-of-24 shots overall and five-of-nine from over the rainbow, including the dagger with just over eight seconds left in regulation. He didn’t make a single trip to the foul stripe, but dished out five dimes with two defensive rebounds and a blocked shot. He earned a plus-4 rating and led the Heat with a 21.4 estimated PER in 35:19. It was Waiters’ 17th Five Star game.

We believe in ourselves first and foremost....just keep piling up wins and make that push. - Waiters

Third Star

Kyrie Irving (CLE) 20.4

Irving scored a game-high 32 points on an 11-for-25 night, also draining four-of-nine from three-point distance and six-of-seven foul shot attempts in 39:38. He had seven rebounds (two offensive), three assists, a blocked shot, a minus-2 rating, and an 18.9 PER.

Fourth Star

Wayne Ellington (MIA) 18.2

Ellington stepped up to the plate on the “Night of No Johnsons,” and ended up making six-of-12 shots from the field along with his only foul shot. Of course, most of his field goals were of the long-distance variety, and he made half of his 10 attempts to finish with 18 points in 31:57. He had four assists, four rebounds, a plus-11 rating, and an 18.0 PER which ranked as the last of four players with a rating above the NBA “average” of 15.0. It was his eighth Five Star performance.

Fifth Star

Goran Dragic (MIA) 13.2

Dragic appears in the Five Stars for a team-high-tying 38th time, scoring 21 points in 33:59. He made eight-of-17 shots overall and two-of-five from beyond the arc, adding three free throws in three attempts. He led Miami with six assists, stealing the ball twice and pulling down one board. He finished the night with a minus-2 rating and a roughly computed 14.4 PER.

Monday’s Worst

Kyle Korver had a bad night, scoring just four points and missing all five of his three-point attempts, but Andrew Bogut had the worst of the night. Before finishing his first minute with the Cavaliers, he broke his leg and is probably out for the season. I don’t care who you are, that’s terrible. Get well soon, Andrew.

I heard it break. - James

Five Stars Standings

Hassan Whiteside 256
Goran Dragic 225
Tyler Johnson 138
Dion Waiters 114
James Johnson 107
Wayne Ellington 43
Willie Reed 33
Josh Richardson 26
Rodney McGruder 21
Justise Winslow 16
Derrick Williams 3
Josh McRoberts 1
Luke Babbitt 1