Mar 18, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) passes against Cleveland Cavaliers forward Alonzo Gee (33) in the first quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Instant Reaction: Miami Heat 100, Cleveland Cavaliers 96


 

Final Outcome

The Cavs did everything they could without Kyrie Irving in an attempt to take down the Miami Heat, but came up short, losing 100-96. With Kyrie and Luol Deng unavailable, the Cavs gave up 37 points in the first quarter, and LeBron James had 25 points, setting a Quicken Loans Arena record for points in a quarter. However, the Cavs were able to shut him down until late in the fourth quarter, and battled with the Heat for most of the game, as they tied it at 45, and the game never got beyond a five point Cavs deficit for the rest of the showdown. The Heat turned on some elite defense in the final minutes, pulling out the victory, but this was a very impressive showing from the Cavs.

Key Play to the Game

Down five with just under a minute to play, Dion Waiters attempted to drive to the rim in transition. This was met by Udonis Haslem and LeBron James, who sandwiched Dion and blocked his shot. Dion went tumbling to the floor, slamming his right hip off the ground at an awkward angle. No foul was called, and Dion did not return.

Wine & Gold MVP

Dion Waiters had his first double-double of his career, but I’m picking Jarrett Jack. Jack led the team in scoring with 22 points, and had a ton of energy on both ends in what was easily his best game of the season. He ran the offense efficiently, didn’t overstep his boundaries at all, and hit several key shots down the stretch as the Cavs tried to pull out an improbable victory. Jack shot 8-13, and added four rebounds and four assists to his 22 points. He was excellent tonight.

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Coach Brown Breakdown:

The decision to start Dion and management of Varejao’s playing time was very helpful to the Cavs staying in this game til the end. Varejao, who hasn’t played many minutes per game since his return, played 26 minutes tonight as it became clear the Cavs had the advantage down low when Varejao was in. The offense was aso surprisingly creative tonight, as the Cavs ran far less ISO action than they usually do, and were able to get guys good looks inside for easy buckets. Brown definitely outcoached Eric Spoelstra tonight.

Up Next:

There’s no rest for the banged-up Cavs, as they get a day off before the Oklahoma City Thunder come to town, likely looking for revenge for the Cavs’ victory in OKC a few weeks ago. The game is at 7 p.m.

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers Dan Gilbert Dion Waiters Featured Jarrett Jack Popular Spencer Hawes