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Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Game 23: Cavs at Heat

AmericanAirlines Arena
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs played their rear ends off on Saturday, but still came up short.

They overcame a 19-point deficit in the third quarter before storming back and taking a four-point advantage in the fourth quarter. However, they couldn't get over the hump.

The Heat's Big Three all scored more than 20 points. That's problematic since they have good role players around them. 

LeBron James was outstanding with a game-high 25 points, nine rebounds, nine assists and four steals. He was 9 of 12 from the field. He came into the game shooting 58.4 percent from the field, crazy good for a perimeter player.

You don't need me to tell you he's probably the best player in the league.

If he goes off, they can't allow Dwyane Wade (24 points) and Chris Bosh (22 points, 12 rebounds) to have such strong games. If they do, the two-time NBA champion Heat are going to be hard to beat.

It didn't help that the Cavs were outrebounded by the worst rebounding team in the league. Of course, the Heat makes up for their lack of rebounding by playing stellar defense.

The Cavs have lost seven in a row in Miami. Their last win in South Florida came on Jan. 25, 2010.

The Cavs had a three-game winning streak snapped. They return home to get ready for Portland on Tuesday at home. So, they can once again play well and lose the game. The Trail Blazers are that good right now.

The Heat lost their last game to the powerful Pacers, but overall have won 13 of their last 16 games.

It was thought the best way to beat the Heat was to pound the ball inside to Andrew Bynum. But once again, Bynum was a no-show with four points and four rebounds.

Bynum has done next to nothing in his last three games. In that span, he's averaged 3.0 points and 4.5 rebounds and is a combined 4 of 11 from the field. He'll have to step up his game if the Cavs are going to make their move.

The Heat topped the Cavs on Nov. 25 at The Q, 95-84.

UP NEXT: The Cavs host Portland at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena.

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. LeBron James (6-8, 250)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 236) vs. Shane Battier (6-8, 220)
C Andrew Bynum (7-0, 294) vs. Chris Bosh (6-11, 235)
SG C.J. Miles (6-6, 231) vs. Dwyane Wade (6-4, 220)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Mario Chalmers (6-2, 190)
Cavs - G/F Carrick Felix, C Tyler Zeller
Heat - F Michael Beasley, C Greg Oden
Monty McCutchen, Brian Forte, Sean Wright


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