Cleveland Cavaliers’ frustration builds in fourth straight loss to Miami Warmth, 113-98

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MIAMI – Cleveland Cavaliers head coach JB Bickerstaff was furious with his team after an early defensive failure and called for a 53-second timeout. It was a threatening sign.

The Cavs lost to the Miami Heat (113-98) on Tuesday night. It’s their fourth straight loss and third in a row in double digits. It’s the 19th consecutive time they’ve lost in Miami – a jaw-dropping streak that goes back more than a decade.

Miami opened the game with a Duncan Robinson layup. Then Cleveland villain Kelly Olynyk drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing when Larry Nance Jr. failed to step forward and Isaac Okoro couldn’t fight his way through the Jimmy Butler screen. With the Heat scoring the first five points, the Cavs had to regroup quickly.

The angry team went back to the scrum and Bickerstaff pulled Nance aside and tried to discuss defense strategy. The two continued talking during the interruption, causing Nance to grab Bickerstaff’s clipboard and draw his view of the collapse. Eventually Nance pointed to Okoro on the bench and then Nance patted his own chest, admitting he screwed up.

“There were two situations where we just had to have one conversation and teach our way through these things,” said Bickerstaff. “It was just a teaching point and that was it.”

The Cavs scored the next nine points. This following route was the highlight. Miami finished the second quarter running 23-12, leading 62-48 in the half. The heat switched it to cruise control from there, extended the lead to 22 at one point, and held off a late game kick from Cleveland.

Offense was an issue for the third straight game after the All-Star break as the Cavs continue to seek out the rhythm that led to a pre-break spike and renewed positive sentiment. The Cavs took the lead from 3-point in the first half at 2:18 and had to fight uphill before hitting a more respectable 10:35 overall. But they didn’t manage to break the 100 point mark again. They made 14 turnovers and had only 23 assists in 39 shots made.

“I think they look good,” said Bickerstaff. “I think our guys do a great job of sharing the ball and moving the ball and there are shots there. You look good. We just have to keep shooting and knocking them down with confidence. “

Collin Sexton’s post-break shooting fights continued as well. Sexton scored 21 points on 7-of-17 from the field and 2-of-8 from outside the bow. Sexton shoots 36.5% off the field in the first three games of the second half.

“Sometimes when you’re in this league you have to pay tribute to the defense and tonight every time he played you saw them double-cast him,” Bickerstaff said of Sexton’s tough night. “I thought he did the right thing and tried to get away from it as far as possible. Some nights he’ll have to do that, and I thought he saw that well tonight. “

Starting for the injured Kevin Love, Nance added 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists in 38 minutes.

Miami has been spearheaded by Jimmy Butler, whose return from COVID sparked a massive heat reversal. Butler, one of five starters in the double digits, scored 28 points for 12 rebounds and four assists.

It is Miami’s 11th win in their last 12 games and ranks fourth in the Eastern Conference.

At one point in the fourth quarter, Cedi Osman went to the bank for one of Butler’s buckets, slammed the Gatorade cooler, and tossed his headband on the floor before teammates came over to comfort him. The Cavs’ stellar game prior to the nine-day release has not carried over – and the frustration is clearly mounting.

“Of course we’re frustrated,” Nance admitted. “All three teams that got promoted by 20 at one point or another are frustrating. We understand that. We’re frustrated too. But I’m getting used to a guy who … I played 37 minutes tonight and didn’t play for a month. It’s not easy for me. It’s not easy for Bull (Sexton). This is not easy for Darius (Garland), Isaac, Jarrett (Allen), P (JaVale McGee), Dean (Wade), lots of adjustments need to be made. I have a couple of little adversities to fight through right now.

“One thing you can count on: We’re not going to stop. We will find out. We’re going to fix this ship. “

Showcase?

The backup center JaVale McGee had recently been linked to the Frontcourt-needy Brooklyn Nets in trade rumors. The heat could use another big one too. McGee put on a show for interested applicants, scoring 16 points on 8 out of 10 from the field to go with eight rebounds and two blocks.

Next

The Cavs will return home for the second game of a one-on-one against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night. Tipoff is set to 8 p.m.

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New Cavs Face Masks For Sale: Here, you can purchase Cleveland Cavaliers-themed face covers for coronavirus protection, including a single mask ($ 14.99) and a pack of 3 ($ 24.99). All NBA proceeds were donated to charity.

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