The Miami Heat waltzed into Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse and crushed the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday evening, 129-96. It marked the most points the Heat have ever scored and their largest margin-of-victory against the Cavaliers in their series history.
The Heat have now won nine of their last 10 games and snapped Cleveland’s three-game winning streak. It marks the first Heat 30-point victory since it beat the Bucks by 42–137-95–on opening night of the 2021-22 season.
Wednesday evening was Miami’s 45th 30-point victory in franchise history, including the postseason. They now have 32 since the start of the 21st century and seven since the conclusion of the Big 3 era.
Without Bam Adebayo, who missed Wednesday’s game with a hip contusion, the Heat only needed 65 points from their starters. Kyle Lowry led with a season-high 28 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including 7-of-9 from 3-point range; 19 of Lowry’s points came in the first half, beginning 5-of-5 from distance.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. had 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting and 4-of-4 from deep in 28 minutes off the bench, in addition to seven rebounds, one assist and one steal. Caleb Martin, Orlando Robinson and Josh Richardson all had 14 points apiece.
Robinson had eight rebounds, two assists, one steal and two blocks in 27 minutes as the backup five. Martin had his best game of the season, knocking down five of his 12 shots.
Jimmy Butler, Haywood Highsmith and Thomas Bryant all scored 10 points apiece. Bryant had seven rebounds in 23 minutes while Highsmith had six boards, five assists, one steal and two blocks. Butler also had a pair of steals and blocks with nine assists and four boards.
Craig Porter Jr. led the Cavaliers with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting with five assists, one steal and two blocks in 35 minutes. Darius Garland had 14 points and three assists; Evan Mobley tallied a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double in 25 minutes. Georges Niang had 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting from distance.
In Max Strus’ first game against Miami since departing in free agency, he knocked down a pair of threes with three rebounds and three assists.
Over the Heat’s last 10 games, they have the league’s No. 2 NET Rating at plus-8.6; they have the No. 9 offense with the No. 7 defense over that stretch. Their offense scored 134.4 points per 100 possessions–including a 111.4 offensive rating in the halfcourt–in non-garbage time situations to Cleveland’s 103.2 points per 100, per Cleaning The Glass.
Miami’s now 6-0 when allowing less than 108.0 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time situations.
What were your initial thoughts and reactions from tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments!
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