Game 69: Cavs at Heat
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
TV: Fox Sports Ohio, ESPN
1. There was much uncertainty surrounding Cavs forward LeBron James before the game. There were questions whether he'd play after the knee injury from the night before in Orlando. After the way he played, maybe he should have taken the night off. He finished with 26 points, 16 in he fourth quarter. He spent the first three quarters pounding the ball at the top of the key for most of the shot clock and then launching a terrible shot at the basket. No one could figure out what the heck he was doing for most of the night.
2. Cavs power forward Kevin Love missed his second game in a row to "rest." If his back is bothering him, be honest about it. There's been no announcement regarding Wednesday's game against Brooklyn. His replacement, Tristan Thompson, didn't play well in either game he started in place of Love.
3. The Cavs got waxed on both occasions at AmericanAirlines Arena this season. The Cavs lost by 10 points on Christmas Day, 101-91. Tonight, the final score wasn't indicative of just how badly they were outplayed. The Heat shot 55 percent from the field and were terribly outrebounded, 45-32. In the last two games without Love, they've been outrebounded, 89-64.
4. The Heat is just 5-5 in their last 10 games. They climbed into the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. They are going to be in a battle the rest of the way with Charlotte for that last spot. When forward/center Chris Bosh was ruled out for the season with a blood clot, that dampened their spirits.
5. Forward Shawn Marion played tonight for the first time in 11 games. He had a strained left hip. Coach David Blatt is going to have trouble playing both Marion and James Jones in his rotation. It's kind of an either/or proposition. Marion might be a bit stronger defensively, but he will never shoot like "Champ."
6. The Cavs have lost nine in a row at AmericanAirlines Arena. The Cavs haven't won in Miami since Jan. 25, 2010. They are 13-36 on the road in the all-time series.
7. The Cavs finished 3-1 on their road trip. They are 24-6 in their last 30 games since Jan. 15. They had a four-game winning streak snapped tonight by Miami.
8. Cavs guard Kyrie Irving earned Player of the Week honors earlier on Monday. It was the second time this season he's won the award.
UP NEXT: vs. Brooklyn, Quicken Loans Arena, 7 p.m. Wednesday.
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. Dwyane Wade (6-4, 220)
Heat - F Josh McRoberts, F/C Chris Bosh
Joe Crawford, Leroy Richardson, Ben Taylor