Bam Adebayo, Heat cruise past punchless Cavaliers

League: NBA

Posted on: 25 Mar, 2024 at 05:47 AM

Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Bam Adebayo posted 15 points, 16 rebounds, five steals and three assists in just 28 minutes to lead the host Miami Heat to a runaway 121-84 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night.

The Heat, who led by as many as 45 points, nearly set a franchise record for largest margin of victory. The record is 43 points in December 1994 against the Los Angeles Clippers. Miami fell six points short of that mark.

Miami (39-32) got a team-high 18 points from reserve Haywood Highsmith. Starter Jimmy Butler had 15 points and six assists in 24 minutes.

Cleveland (43-28), which has lost three straight games, was led by Evan Mobley, who scored 15 points in 21 minutes. He had missed the previous nine games due to an ankle injury.

Sunday's game was controlled by Miami almost the entire way.

Miami shot 57.9 percent in the first quarter, taking a 32-22 lead following Terry Rozier's runner off the glass at the buzzer.

Rozier beat the buzzer at the end of the second quarter, too, hitting a layup to give Miami a 60-39 lead at halftime. Cleveland was held to 6-of-16 shooting in the second quarter, including 1-of-7 on 3-pointers.

In the third quarter, Miami stretched its lead to 40 points before settling for a 90-57 advantage heading into the fourth. The Heat cruised from there.

For the game, Miami shot 51.8 percent from the floor and 39.5 percent on 3-pointers (15-for-38). Miami outscored Cleveland 50-34 in the paint and 24-2 in fastbreak points.

Cleveland shot 41.7 percent from the floor, including 9-for-29 from deep (31.0 percent).

Miami was without Jaime Jaquez Jr. (knee/ankle), who is new to the injury list; Duncan Robinson (back), Tyler Herro (foot), Kevin Love (foot) and Josh Richardson (shoulder).

Cleveland was without two starters: Donovan Mitchell (broken nose) and ex-Heat wing Max Strus (knee).

Mitchell, a five-time All-Star who leads the Cavaliers in scoring (27.4) and steals (1.8), has missed four straight games and 11 of Cleveland's past 13 contests.

--Field Level Media