Cleveland Cavaliers forward Lamar Stevens dunks the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Wednesday, March 8, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Heat Can’t Overcome Turnovers, Fall 104-100 to Cavs

24 Miami Heat turnovers led to 29 points for the Cleveland Cavaliers, costing the Heat the game. Miami fell 104-100 on Wednesday. The loss to the Cavs dropped the Heat four games behind the New York Knicks in the battle for the No. 5 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference, as well as three behind the Brooklyn Nets in the race for No. 6.

48 in Five

  • The Heat had a 30-26 lead at the end of the first quarter but trailed 57-53 at the break after committing 13 turnovers. The Heat entered the fourth quarter down 87-82 as the turnover haul ran up to 20.
  • With 6:25 left, the Heat were down by seven before Jimmy Butler checked back in. The Heat then closed the gap 98-93 with a three-point play from Bam Adebayo. It was Miami’s league-leading 47th clutch game (within five points at any stage in the final five minutes).
  •  Butler cut the Cavs’ lead after converting two free throws, and Caleb Martin slammed home a transition dunk to pull the Heat within one, 98-97.
  • After Victor Oladipo missed a possible game-tying three-pointer on the opposite end, Cleveland went up 100-97 thanks to a Darius Garland drive to the basket. With 49 seconds left, Isaac Okoro made it 102-97 Cleveland with a bucket inside. Tyler Herro nevertheless hit a three-pointer to make the score 102-100 after the Cavs were warned for a five-second inbounding violation.

  • The Cavs’ subsequent inbounds led to an Adebayo foul that sent Jarrett Allen to the line with 20.1 seconds left.  Allen made the first of two free throws as Max Strus missed a potential game-tying three-pointer to effectively kill any chance of a Heat Miracle.

A Game of Turnovers

With an 80-70 advantage in field goal attempts, the Cavaliers were able to win the possession battle, a crucial component of Miami’s winning formula this season.

The Cavs scored 29 points as a result of the Heat’s season-high 24 turnovers. Miami lost to Cleveland 29-22 in points off mistakes.

The Heat fell to 15-62 when committing 24 or more turnovers in a game in franchise history, including the playoffs.

Cleveland entered forcing 15.2 turnovers per game, seventh best in the league. The Heat entered averaging 13.4 turnovers, sixth fewest in the NBA.

In addition to Oladipo’s five turnovers, Adebayo, Herro and Kevin Love each had three for the Heat. The lone Heat player without a turnover was Strus.

Big 3 Vs. Big 3

In the victory, Garland scored 25 points, Donovan Mitchell added 18, and the Cavaliers guaranteed themselves a second consecutive winning season.
For Cleveland, Jarrett Allen had 15 points and 12 rebounds as the Cavs (42-26) are now two wins away from matching last season’s win total, with 14 games left. Butler had 28 points for Miami (35-32), bolstered by 22 from Herro and 17 from Adebayo.

Looking Ahead

The Cavs will stay in Miami for a second straight matchup against the Heat on Friday night. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.

About Rafael De Los Santos

Junior studying Journalism - Sports & Media at the University of Florida

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