Duncan Robinson opened things up for the Heat with a three as they took a quick 10 point lead off solid play from Kendrick Nunn and Bam Adebayo. The Cavs looked bad going scoreless until the 8:54 mark.
Without Jimmy Butler, Bam led the charge on offense for the Heat, scoring well and working to get everybody involved. Towards the end of the first quarter the Cavaliers’ reserves showed signs of life, but the Heat stayed ahead by a comfortable eight points.
With the Cavs finding a rhythm they’d cut into Miami’s lead briefly, but it wouldn’t last with Duncan Robinson lighting it up from beyond the arc. Other Heat reserves would get involved too with Andre Iguodala finally getting the rust off for some nice looks.
With Goran Dragic and the Heat running and gunning, they’d once again take a 14 point lead. On defense the Heat were fairly undisciplined fouling often and getting baited on three point attempts (Love fooled defenders often). This would allow the Cavs to chip away for a short time, but Miami would use an 8-0 run to maintain distance.
Miami would enter the second half up 12.
The Heat continued to excel offensively into the third, with Kendrick Nunn breaking out of his shooting slump. Bam, Duncan and Derrick Jones Jr would all contribute with some great plays and some highlight moments.
The Heat looked to be in cruise control offensively, but cracks were showing on defense as Colin Sexton and Kevin Porter Jr probed for quite a few buckets.
The Heat looked very solid though, as they took a 19 point lead into the fourth quarter.
The Cavs opened the fourth with an 8-0 run, while Miami’s offense stalled. Larry Nance Jr began to dominate in the fourth quarter all of a sudden as he dominated Chris Silva in the paint. The Heat began to foul often (and not smart fouls) like in the first quarter sending the Cavs to the line often.
The Cavs on a 15-3 run would cut Miami’s lead to nine, forcing Spoelstra to send the starters back in. The Heat seemed to panic retreating to their 2-3 zone, and still couldn’t stop the surging Cavs.
It would have been fine if the Heat could spread out the lead, but they couldn’t buy a bucket on offense as the Cavs turned their 15-3 run into a 21-3 to get right into striking distance.
Some terrible turnovers would leave Miami vulnerable and Cleveland would tie the game, and Porter Jr. would take the lead seconds later.
This has to be one of the worst collapses I’ve ever seen from the Heat. They went from scoring easily, to forcing so many attempts. The only player who was able to score for the Heat was Bam who would keep the Heat within one.
Desperate to take back the lead Miami rushed offensive possessions and it cost them on the other end. Dragic went to the line with just over a minute left, but missed a free throw that would have tied the game.
Bam got called for a goal-tend with 25.7 seconds left (after a non called travel) that would put the Heat down three.
Dragic would drive for a quick two to put the Heat within one, and Crowder would intentionally foul Porter Jr. he’d miss one allowing the Heat one final possession to tie or win. Dragic would miss a three for the win, but Kendrick Nunn grabbed an enormous board for a quick outback to tie the game. With that and a missed Cavs jumper and late Nance dunk, the Heat would go to overtime.
Derrick Jones Jr would get Miami started early in the overtime period with bunny in the paint. Jae Crowder would follow up with a big three shortly after, but Larry Nance took advantage if Duncan Robinson to keep the Cavs within one. Nance Jr would put Cleveland ahead one. Dragic would steal back the lead at the free throw line with 1:45 remaining. Unfortunately, Porter Jr would put the Cavs ahead once again on a botched defensive play. Second later Garland would score to put the Cavs up three and the Heat once again in desperation mode. The Heat would miss on offense, and Kevin Love would seal things for the Cavs on the other end with a put-back.
Truly an embarrassing loss for the Heat, one where they dominated nearly the entire game. Yes, the Heat are missing Jimmy Butler, but this is inexcusable. Rare to see a Heat team play so poorly post All-Star break.