Cavaliers Beat the Heat 111-99: Game Recap 12/8/23

December 9, 2023

Andy Billman

Post-Game Recap

3 Key Factors Around the Victory

1 – 2nd Quarter charge

It looked like the Cavs would be blown out again by the Heat, down 16 at the 8:58 mark in the 2nd quarter with the score 39-23.  Cleveland would close out the half strong, led by the bench of Craig Porter Jr., Sam Merrill, and Tristan Thompson, the Cavs would take a one-point lead heading into the half. 

The bench for the Cavs would end up with 44 points on the night. 

2 – Sizzling 3rd Quarter 

The lead would expand to as much as 16 points by 8:59, led by Donovan Mitchell, who came out of the half scoring the first eight points.   The Cavs would score the first 13 points in the 3rd and never looked back. 

3 – LeVert and Mobley

The Cavs did all this without Caris LeVert, who missed his third straight game with a knee injury, and Evan Mobley, who is battling knee soreness. 

Game Summary

Donovan Mitchell contributed 27 points and 13 rebounds, while Darius Garland overcame early foul trouble to score 18 points, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 111-99 victory over the Miami Heat on Friday night.

Darius Garland, despite facing early foul challenges, managed to put up 18 points for the Cavaliers. Georges Niang scored 13 points, and Max Strus added 11 in his inaugural away game against his former team. With this win, the Cavaliers improved their road record to 7-3 this season, tying with Oklahoma City and Minnesota for the NBA’s best road record.

Josh Richardson and Kyle Lowry each contributed 17 points for the Heat, who have now lost five of their last seven games. Jimmy Butler scored 16 points, Caleb Martin added 15, Kevin Love had 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored 12 for Miami.

Cleveland dominated the boards with a 51-37 rebounding advantage and had two crucial 15-0 runs during the game. Despite Miami initially building a 16-point lead with a 15-0 run, the Cavaliers erased it with their first 15-0 stretch, and a second one later in the game secured their lead for good.

Donovan Mitchell scored the final basket of the first half, giving Cleveland a 53-52 lead. The Cavaliers then started the third quarter with a 13-0 run, including 11 points from Mitchell, establishing control over the game.

Cleveland played without Evan Mobley, who sat out due to left knee soreness, marking his first absence this season and only the fourth in the last 111 games for the Cavaliers, including playoffs.

Despite Garland picking up three fouls in the opening 5:21, leading to a 15-0 run by Miami, the Cavaliers managed to turn the game around. The Heat had a 16-point lead at one point, but Cleveland’s resilience and Mitchell’s performance made it the largest deficit the Cavaliers successfully overcame this season.

Miami, missing key players like Bam Adebayo, Haywood Highsmith, and Tyler Herro due to various injuries, faced challenges throughout the game. Adebayo missed five of the last eight games, Herro was sidelined for the 14th consecutive game, and Highsmith sat out three consecutive games.

Despite Miami cutting the lead to nine in the fourth quarter, Cleveland held on for the win, securing a noteworthy comeback and marking a significant victory against the Heat.

Up Next

At Orlando Magic on Monday night.

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