NBA Game Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat

Mar 10, 2023

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Game: Cleveland Cavaliers @ Miami Heat

Time: 8:00 p.m.

Odds: Cavaliers -1.5, Heat +1.5

Total: 213.5

Cleveland just beat Miami 104-100 on Wednesday night and is looking to complete a two-game sweep of the fading Heat, who have lost seven of their last ten games. Darius Garland’s 25 points led the Cavs as all five Cleveland starters scored in double figures. There were 18 lead changes in the first half before Cleveland took control in the third quarter. The Cavs led by 12 before the Heat charged back. Miami got as close as one point with 2:44 to play but never held the lead again.

Cavs head coach J.B Bickerstaff was impressed with his team’s resiliency. Cleveland’s toughness has helped them win 11 of 15 games since the beginning of February. The Cavs are the best defensive team in the NBA allowing opponents an average of just 106.5 points per game. They have won four of their last five games and in three of those wins Cleveland held their opponent to 100 or fewer points.

Miami needs to handle the ball better if they want to split the two-game series. A season-high 24 turnovers by the Heat resulted in 29 points for Cleveland. It’s hard to win games in the NBA when you commit 24 turnovers. Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 28 points and Tyler Herro added 22. Big man Bam Adebayo scored 17 points in the loss.

The Heat are the NBA’s second-best defense allowing 109.1 points per game. They will have their hands full with Garland and Mitchell. The Heat can’t forget about Jarrett Allen either. He recorded a double-double by scoring 15 points and grabbing 12 rebounds while shooting 7-of-10 from the field and adding two assists, a steal, and a block. On Wednesday, Allen dominated the boards, limiting Adebayo to just one rebound.

With four wins in their last five games, the Cavs are keeping pace with the Philadelphia 76ers for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland trails Philly by 2.5 games and the Cavs are seven games out of first in the East.

The Cavs are getting production from everyone. Evan Mobley had 15 points, six rebounds, six assists, and two blocks. Isaac Okoro shot 5-of-7 from the field, including 3-of-4 from three-point range to score 13 points. It was Okoro’s best night in almost a month.

The Heat are currently in seventh place in the East. They are trying to overtake Brooklyn for the sixth and final guaranteed playoff spot in the East. A seventh-place finish means the Heat would have to win a game in the play-in tournament.

In addition to being 3-7 SU in their last ten games, the Heat are 2-8 ATS. Miami is 1-8 ATS in its last nine home games and the Heat have been the team to fade against the spread this season. Miami is tied with Dallas for the worst ATS record (23-41-3) in the NBA.

Cleveland is 4-1 ATS in its last five in addition to being 4-1 SU. The Cavs are just 2-18 SU in their last 20 games at Miami.

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