It was cold both inside and outside of Quicken Loans Arena tonight as the Cavaliers beat the Heat 114-84. Another win for the Cavs and another record breaking night for Lebron James who passed Elvin Hayes on the all-time scoring list to take the ninth place spot and landing just 94 points away from passing Moses Malone for eighth place.
This was the first time the two teams have matched up this season, and it was a matchup filled with connections. Even though Miami’s big three was disbanded when Lebron James returned to Cleveland, the memory of his departure and success in South Beach remain. Heat guard Wayne Ellington played for the Cavs in the 2012-2013 season. This was also the first time Cleveland’s Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen went against his former team, while former Cavalier now Heat Dion Waiters was inactive on Miami’s bench.
Miami kept it a tight game for the Cavs in the first quarter, only trailing by four going into the second. Josh McRoberts and Derrick Williams both scored six while Tyler Johnson scored seven points . Despite their effort, it was no match for Lebron James who scored six points in the first, Kyrie Irving who scored seven points, and Kevin Love with 13 points.
The Cavs ran away with it starting in the second quarter and even though Kevin Love left the game for most of the second quarter, Irving and Love held their own and Love returned late in the second and never looked back.The phenomenal passing from the entire Cavaliers team created numerous opportunities for easy points and by halftime the Cavs held an 11 point lead.
Love went on a run in the third quarter, hitting back to back shots and leading the scoring on both sides of the court. Heat’s top scorer Derrick Williams ended 11 shy of Love’s final tally. Cavalier’s Kyrie Irving sank a buzzer beater from just outside the paint to send the Cavaliers into the final quarter up 87-69
Lead scorers for Miami were Derrick Williams with 17 points, Goran Dragic with 15 points, and Tyler Johnson with 12 points. Out of Cleveland Love ended the night with 28 points and 15 rebounds, Irving with 23 points, and James with 27 points, eight rebounds and 8 assists. James is four assists away from becoming the 16th player in NBA history to compile 7,000 in his career and the first frontcourt player to reach the milestone.
The Cavs take on the Charlotte Hornets tonight in the Q at 7:30 PM.
Below are sound bites from Coach Lue’s post game press conference: