Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) shoots against Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen and forward Evan Mobley during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Jimmy Butler leads Heat to victory over Cavs

The Miami Heat defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers Tuesday night, 100-97. Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 23 points and five assists.

This win puts the Heat six games over .500 and one-and-half games back of Cleveland for the fifth seed in the eastern conference standings.

Caleb Martin, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro all recorded 18 points for Miami while Victor Oladipo had seven rebounds.

Evan Mobley led the Cavs with 19 points, four assists and seven rebounds. Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland had 16 points, and Jarrett Allen and Caris Levert had 14 points.

Cleveland Couldn’t Hold for Long

January 2-4 was the last time the Cavs had won back-to-back games against the Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns.

Miami was welcomed by the NBA’s top-rated defensive team. They struggled offensively in the first five minuets of the game, going 2 of 10 from the floor with five turnovers.

Cleveland had the edge in the first as they were up 26-24 from a three-point buzzer by LeVert.

But, Miami was able to crawl back to take the lead 55-52 at the half.

The Cavs were on a 9-0 run in the second, but after seven straight empty possessions, the Heat finally scored their first bucket of the second half.

Neck-and-Neck Fourth Quarter

The game was all tied up at 79-points heading into the fourth quarter thanks to a three-pointer by Mitchell.

Miami’s offensive struggles showed as they headed into the fourth quarter. The Heat scored just two points over the first five minuets as the Cavs continued to swish.

Miami would soon come back on a huge run by Herro, scoring six points in a 26-second time frame.

Cleveland’s last lead was made on Mitchell’s one of two free throws. They were up 93-92 with 2:58 remaining, but Adebayo’s jumper put the Heat ahead for good.

With 1:23 minuets left, Butler hit a short jumper to make it 98-93. His free throw kept the Heat ahead by five with 12 seconds left.

Looking Ahead

The Heat are now one-and-half games back of Cleveland for the fifth seed in the eastern conference standings. They will turn to play the Knicks Thursday.

The Cavs will play the Grizzlies Thursday.

About Gabriela Vitale

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