Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat: Live Score and Analysis

Matthew SchmidtFeatured Columnist IVApril 8, 2017

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The Miami Heat blew a 19-point lead, but they recovered to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 114-107, on Saturday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh combined for 71 points and James just missed a triple double, finishing with 25 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.

Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers in 19 points, but he was largely invisible down the stretch when Cleveland needed him.

The Heat scored 68 points in the first half and built a 71-52 lead early in the third quarter, but the Cavs stormed back, going up by as much as four in the fourth period. That was when Miami flipped the switch, and it eventually went on an 11-1 run to secure the win.

The Heat shot 55 percent from the floor while the Cavaliers hit on 46 percent of their shot attempts.

Let's break down the keys to this game.


The Big Three

James, Wade and Bosh were sensational in this one.

The trio scored 53 points in the first half, and Wade and James combined to hit their first 10 shots. They were much quieter in the final 24 minutes, scoring only 18 points altogether, but they all made big plays down the stretch.

LeBron made some outstanding passes to cutters underneath the basket during Miami's late-game run, and Bosh had a big offensive rebound and then a critical block with under a minute to go to ice the victory. Bosh, who came into the contest averaging under six rebounds per game, hauled in 12 boards.

The Big Three combined to go 28-of-44 from the floor.



This mainly applied to the first half, as the Cavaliers were much more judicious with the basketball over the final two quarters, but the Heat blew this game open by scoring points off Cleveland miscues early.

The Cavs turned the ball over 14 times in the first 24 minutes, leading to 19 Miami points. They would only cough the ball up twice in the second half, but the damage was already done.

The Cavaliers made some careless passes, particularly of the cross-court variety, allowing the Heat to collect 10 steals and get out in transition.

The last thing you want to do is permit Miami to run, and that's exactly what Cleveland did on Saturday night.


Andrew Bynum Was a Non-Factor

We all know how much the Heat struggle to defend big men, but the Cavaliers didn't seem to understand that concept.

Andrew Bynum played in only 17-and-a-half minutes and hardly touched the ball, scoring four points off two shots. The Cavs didn't even attempt to get him the ball in the post despite the fact that he had his defender sealed off numerous times.

Had Cleveland established Bynum early, perhaps there would have been a different outcome. But it didn't.


Execution Down the Stretch

The Heat are a veteran, battle-tested group. The Cavaliers aren't, and that showed over the final few minutes.

Miami made all of the right plays in crunchtime and locked down defensively. The Cavs got flustered, and next thing you knew, the Heat were up by eight.

It's tough for inexperienced ballclubs to win games like these on the road.