The Miami Heat led from the outset and routed the visiting Cavaliers 98-79 on Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena, Cleveland’s lowest point total of the season.
Miami’s Kelly Olynyk scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed five rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench. James Johnson and Josh Richardson each had 15 points for the Heat. Dwyane Wade had 12 points, four assists and four blocks in just 17 minutes while Goran Dragic added 10 points.
The Heat won their seventh straight game at home and improved to 9-1 in South Florida since the All-Star break.
LeBron James scored 18 points with six rebounds and seven assists — but six turnovers — for Cleveland, and Rodney Hood had 15 points off the bench. Jordan Clarkson and Jose Calderon each scored 11.
Cleveland center Kevin Love took an elbow to the face from Miami center Jordan Mickey while trying to draw a charging foul just 1:22 into the first quarter. Love left the game and had a front tooth visibly loose after the collision. He came back to play briefly and scored just one point in seven first-half minutes before sitting out the second half.
The Cavaliers had their five-game winning streak snapped and lost for the 14th consecutive time in Miami, dating back to 2010. Cleveland also saw its four-game streak of scoring at least 120 points a game, tying the franchise record, end in abrupt fashion.
The Heat held a pair of seven-point leads in the first quarter but increased the advantage as their reserves chipped in. Wayne Ellington hit both of his 3-point attempts and Wade added four points as Miami extended the lead to 29-18 at the end of the quarter.
Love re-entered the game to start the second quarter, but the Heat didn’t let up. With James on the bench, Miami stretched the lead to 36-18 on seven points from Olynyk in the first 2:01 of the quarter.
The Cavaliers’ deficit grew to 43-21 as they missed 11 of 12 shots from the floor in the middle of the quarter.
Cleveland’s 29.5 percent shooting left the team in a 54-34 hole at halftime, the Cavaliers’ lowest-scoring first half this season.
Cleveland cut the deficit to 70-57 on Clarkson’s 3-pointer with 2:40 left in the third, but Miami built the lead back up to 75-59 at the quarter’s end.
The Cavaliers never got closer than 11 in the fourth quarter and shot 36.5 percent from the field overall. It was Cleveland’s lowest point total since exactly one year before, when the Cavs lost 103-74 to the San Antonio Spurs.
—Field Level Media