Wednesday evening, the Cleveland Cavaliers crushed the Miami Heat by a convincing score of 111-85. Cleveland led throughout the majority of the game and took a commanding lead during the second quarter. From there, the Wine and Gold did not look back as they only added to their cushion throughout the contest. The Heat was without their stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Still, it was major for this young, emerging Cavs squad to take advantage of the situation by claiming their first win in Miami in 10 years.
Cleveland’s Defense was Swarming, yet again
Like it has been for most of the season, the Cavaliers’ defense was stifling. Miami shot only 37.6% from the floor and was 12/37 from three-point land. Cleveland’s size and length clearly affected the Heat throughout the night, proven by the Cavs’ 14 team block total. Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley combined for nine blocks alone, this frontcourt is becoming a tremendous defensive pairing.
Miami did get some open looks throughout the evening from three. Cleveland’s defense still held up well thanks to elite interior defense against a much smaller team. When the Wine and Gold have their three big lineup — consisting of Mobley, Allen and Lauri Markkanen — it becomes very difficult for opposing offenses. There have been few defensive stretches this season where the Cavs’ played poor defense with this lineup on the floor. Many questioned J.B. Bickerstaff’s decision to put Markkanen at the small forward spot; Bickerstaff continues to look better and better as this lineup dominates good, playoff-worthy teams.
Cavalier Standouts in the Dominating Victory
The performances from Darius Garland, Mobley, Allen and Kevin Love were notable in the convincing win vs. Miami. Love’s play was the reason Cleveland was able to take control of this game so quickly. He looked like his former All-Star self, knocking down three after three. He posted gaudy stats: 22 points, six rebounds, 6/8 from three and a +29 plus/minus. Love’s 22 points matched his season-high point total. If the vet forward can explode every now and then, this will make the Cavaliers even more dangerous.
As usual, Cleveland’s star trio of Mobley, Allen and Garland shined extremely bright. Garland is running the offense at a very high rate, proven by his seven assist night with a +23 plus/minus. The rookie Mobley has not missed a beat since returning from injury. He made his mark on the defensive end in the first half but found himself scoreless at halftime. Like he has in the past, Mobley took over in the third quarter with 15 points. 17 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks, not too shabby for a rookie. Mobley’s high level of play has earned him the Rookie of the Month award even after missing two weeks with an elbow sprain.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) December 2, 2021
Allen has been worth every penny for the Cavs. Allen’s energy level, efficiency, defense and leadership have all been tremendous. That continued vs. the Heat as Allen had another outstanding night: 19 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks and a +26 plus/minus.
It was another exciting night for Cavalier fans as Cleveland crushed Miami, taking their record to 12-10. The Cavs now hold the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Wine and Gold will look to keep working up the Eastern Conference standings when they face off with the Wizards Friday night.
Featured image courtesy of Sam Navarro/USA TODAY Sports
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