The Miami Heat edged the Cleveland Cavaliers 115-101 on Saturday night, behind a solid team offensive performance.
Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler each got a double-double on the night. For Adebayo, it was his 24th of the season. He tied a team record with 18 points and 11 rebounds, hitting 9 of 12 from the court. For Butler, it was his fourteenth of the season. He finished with 15 points, six rebounds and 11 assists in the winning effort.
The Heat shot 53.7 percent and 39.5 percent from 3-point range. Seven Heat players posted double figures.
Duncan Robinson continued his hot shooting streak, tying Adebayo with 18 points on 6-of-9 from beyond the arc, his twelfth game of the year with five or more triples and seventh with six or more. He also marked his fifth straight game with more than 15 points and more than four triples.
Since the trade deadline (six games) passed, Robinson is averaging 17.5 points and shooting 54.5 percent from 3-point range; Before the deadline, he was recording 12.5 points on 38.2 percent shooting from deep.
Trevor Ariza has continued to look more comfortable as the season progressed. He had season highs in points (15) and made triples (4), where all but one of his field shots came from. Nemanja Bjelica set her career Heat record in scoring, scoring 10 points on 4 of 10 shots.
After missing the last game due to back spasms, Goran Dragic had 13 points on 5 of 10 from the floor, including 3 of 6 from 3 point range. Tyler Herro scored 10 points on 4 of 7 shots from the bench.
Despite providing an annoying defense above average (as advertised), in his second game, which woke up with blacks and reds, Victor Oladipo’s efficiency struggles continued. He had eight points with five assists, shooting just 3 of 13 from the floor and 1 of 6 from beyond the arc in 29 minutes. However, his impact was not lost, finishing with a plus-10 on the night.
Together, the Heat dished out 35 assists, one less than tying a season high, on 44 baskets made.
Cleveland shot 47.3 percent from the floor and 32.3 percent from deep.
Collin Sexton led the Cavs with 26 points on 11 of 17 shooting. Taurean Prince posted a season-high 19 points on 7 of 13 shots in 32 minutes from the bench. Isaac Okoro had 17 points, scoring five of his seven shot attempts.
In his sixth game of the season, Kevin Love posted his first double-double of the season. He had 10 points on 3 of 9 shots, reducing 10 rebounds, the team’s maximum. Darius Garland added 12 points with eight assists, the team’s best, on 4 of 8 shooting.
Saturday’s victory gives Miami its fourth consecutive victory, improving to 26-24 on the year and a firm grip on the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference, just half a game behind the Charlotte Hornets for the No. 4 seed. The Cavaliers have now dropped six of their last seven, including five in a row, and are down to 17-32 on the year.
The Heat have 20 consecutive home wins against the Cavaliers.
Miami rose to the board after a great shot from Adebayo, followed by eight consecutive points to take the initial 10-5 lead. Robinson’s 3-pointer extended the Heat’s lead to 21-13.
Miami dropped six of its first seven attempts from beyond the arc, all coming from Robinson and Ariza with three each.
The Heat led 36-27 after the first quarter, shooting 70 percent and 63.6 percent from 3-point range. The camaraderie on the offensive side stood out the most, with 13 assists in 14 baskets. Four Heat players, Butler (4), Oladipo (3), Dragic (2) and Bjelica (2), had multiple assists in that span. The Cavaliers shot 55.6 percent and 50 percent from deep in the first quarter.
Garland’s second-chance layup reduced him to 42-39. The Heat proceeded with an 8-0 streak, capped by Oladipo’s first career triple in a Heat uniform, again extending it to an 11-point lead.
Oladipo’s passing of the Euro gave Miami a 67-54 lead at halftime, the most points it has scored since Feb. 5 against the Washington Wizards (71 points). The Heat shot 58.1 percent, including 10 3-pointers on 21 attempts (47.6 percent) in the first half. Cleveland shot 53.7 percent from the floor and 40 percent from three-point range.
Ariza’s triple, his fourth, extended it to 70-54. Sexton’s steal followed by a layup from Prince capped a 16-5 run, cutting it to 75-70 with 4:05 left in the third quarter.
Adebayo’s dunk made it 93-78 with 7:11 left in the fourth quarter. Ariza’s layup with less than four minutes to go turned him into a 16-point lead, putting the game out of reach.
Until next time:
The Heat are looking for a split season against the Memphis Grizzlies at home on Tuesday, April 6 at 8:00 pm EST. The Grizzlies defeated Miami 89-85 on March 17 in Memphis, Tennessee.