With both LeBron James and Kyrie Irving resting for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night -- joining the recovering Kevin Love and JR Smith -- the Miami Heat drained 18 three-point shots to win their home game against the defending NBA Champions by a score of 120-92. On Monday night in Cleveland, however, King James and Kyrie will be returning to the starting line-up as the Cavs get a rematch against the Heat at the Quicken Loans Arena. Even after the win on Saturday night, the Miami Heat are just ninth in the Eastern Conference, 14 games behind first-place Cleveland.
Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat -- RecapWith LeBron and Kyrie sidelined, Channing Frye stepped up offensively for Cleveland, leading the Cavs on Saturday night with 21 points. It wasn't nearly enough, however, as the Miami Heat had two players that scored at least 20 points. Goran Dragic led the game with 23 points (in addition to 5 assists and 3 rebounds), while Hassan Whiteside was good for 20 points and 13 boards coming off the bench.
Ironically, the Heat had a huge game from downtown one game after the Cavs set a new regular season NBA record against the Atlanta Hawks when they netted 25 three-pointers. On Saturday, Dragic drained 4 three-pointers for Miami, as did Wayne Ellington.The first time that Cleveland and Miami faced each other this year, it was actually Kevin Love who had an enormous impact for the Cavaliers, scoring 28 points and grabbing 15 rebounds in the home game in December. The first time that King James faced his old team this season, he was good for 27 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists (which more than makes up for the difference in his absence on Saturday). Point guard Kyrie Irving added 23 points and 3 assists, meaning Kyrie and LeBron were responsible for 50 combined points.
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Miami Heat at Cleveland Cavaliers -- PreviewWith the regular season series between the Cavs and Heat tied at 1-1, the rubber match is set for Monday night, when LeBron James and Kyrie Irving return to the starting line-up for Cleveland. The game starts at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland at 7/6c. The game will air regionally on Fox Sports Ohio. As of Sunday evening, very few tickets were left through the primary vendor for Monday night's game.
Upcoming Cleveland Cavaliers ScheduleAfter the Cavs host Miami on Monday night, they go back on the road for three straight away games. On Thursday, March 9, they travel to the Palace at Auburn Hills to face the Detroit Pistons (30-32), who are currently eighth in the Eastern Conference. Two nights later, they return to Florida to play the thirteenth-place Orlando Magic (23-39) at the Amway Center. The road trip ends with a game on Sunday, March 12 against the Houston Rockets (44-19), who are currently ranked third in the NBA's Western Conference.
[Featured Image by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images]