Game 54: Heat at Cavs
Quicken Loans Arena
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
TV: ESPN, Fox Sports Ohio
1. The Cavaliers toyed with the Heat for much of the night. They stretched their lead to 26 points at one point before Miami rallied. The game wasn't nearly as emotional for LeBron James as was the first meeting on Christmas Day. It was just another game for James.
2. The Cavs continue to roll, winning 14 of their last 15 games. Offensively, they shot 56.4 percent from the field and dished out 32 assists. They've amassed 30 or more assists in back-to-back games for the first time since 1999. They are also 5-0 when they record 30 or more assists.
3. They have reached 33 wins, which matched their victory total for the 2013-14 season under fired coach Mike Brown. They have a chance to go into the All-Star break with 34 wins, but it's not going to be easy. They've already beaten the Bulls twice this year and Chicago wants nothing better than to unseat the Cavs on Thursday. "We'll have our hands full tomorrow," Cavs coach David Blatt said.
4. The Heat have now lost six of their last eight games. They are hanging onto the seventh playoff seed in the Eastern Conference, despite several injuries to key personnel. All-Star guard Dwyane Wade remains out with a strained hamstring. He will also miss the All-Star Game. LeBron James knows why the Heat are hanging around in the playoff race. "They have championship DNA," he said.
5. Heat power forward Chris Bosh continues to have an All-Star season. He's averaging 21.2 points and 7.3 rebounds. Bosh managed just 15 points and two rebounds. He went almost 16 minutes in one stretch without hauling in a rebound. Cavs power forward Kevin Love was on his way to totally outplaying Bosh before he suffered his eye injury.
6. The Cavs have won a season-high 10 consecutive games at The Q, their longest home streak since 2010. They are outscoring foes by 14.7 points per game during their home streak (108.1-93.4). Team are shooting 40.1 percent from the field against them during the nine-game streak. The Cavs have won by double figures in nine of those 10 games.
7. How much have the Cavs improved on defense? Since Jan. 19, they are second in the NBA in defensive field-goal percentage (40.9 percent) and fourth in points allowed (94.1).
8. James (6,114) is now tied with former Celtics great John Havlicek (6,114) for the second-most assists by a forward in NBA history. Chicago's Scottie Pippen (6,135) is first on the list. James also grabbed 10 rebounds in back-to-back games for the first time since the 2012-13 season.
9. Cavs center Timofey "I love to dunk" Mozgov continues to get more comfortable on this team. He has 16 blocks in his last seven games (2.3). He had seven dunks on the night en route to a season-high 20 points. The nine field goals are also a season high.
10. The Cavs had seven players reach double figures for the second time this season. The other came at Denver on Nov. 7.
UP NEXT: at Chicago, United Center, 8 p.m. Thursday
SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Luol Deng (6-9, 220)
C Timofey Mozgov (7-1, 250) vs. Hassan Whiteside (7-0, 265)
SG J.R. Smith (6-6, 220) vs. Mario Chalmers (6-2, 190)
Heat - F Josh McRoberts, G Dwyane Wade
Ed Malloy, Mark Lindsay, James Williams