Heat blow huge lead then beat Cavs for 11th in row

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 24, 2013 at 8:45 pm •  Published: February 24, 2013
Advertisement
;

"I thought that we had the game," Cavaliers forward Alonzo Gee said.

Sure looked like that was the case, after a ridiculously good third quarter.

Down 68-46 early in the third, the Cavaliers looked finished — last-place team, on the road, against the reigning NBA champions who just happened to have the league's longest current winning streak.

Midway through the third, Miami's lead was still 17.

With two minutes left in the period, the cushion was 10.

By the start of the fourth, it was nonexistent.

The C.J. Miles Show lasted for all of 63 seconds. And they were a scintillating 63 seconds.

It starts with 1:35 left, a 3-pointer from Miles getting the Miami lead down to seven. Then he got a rebound, came downcourt and connected on another 3-pointer. Lead down to four. Another stop by the Cavs on one end, then another 3-pointer for Miles on the other — that one coming both with him drawing a foul from Chalmers, and with Spoelstra getting hit with a technical from referee Ed Malloy for arguing.

Miles made the technical free throw to tie the game, the free throw for the Chalmers hit to put the Cavs ahead, and they carried that 82-81 lead into the fourth, having closed the quarter on a 36-13 run.

"Guys just finally decided to start playing," Miles said.

Miami used a 23-4 run in the first half to take what looked like a commanding 42-22 lead — with more than 9 minutes left until the break. And after Cleveland got within seven, Miami answered with another burst.

James didn't miss in the final 4:29 of the half, scoring 10 points on a 4-for-4 run from the floor and fueling what became 16-5 spurt that gave Miami a 64-46 lead going into the locker room. And for good measure, Miami got the first two baskets of the second half, pushing the lead to 22, the biggest of the night.

Over, right?

Not even remotely close. Not until the final frantic seconds, as the Heat not only extended their win streak but won for the fourth time in five nights.

"We found a way," Wade said. "I felt like in the first three quarters, I couldn't move. But in the fourth, you just find it. ... We just turned that other switch on."

NOTES: Miami's two wins over Cleveland this season, both at home, have come by a combined six points. ... The Cavs were without Daniel Gibson (personal) and Omri Casspi, who remained hospitalized in Orlando after surgery to remove his appendix. ... Heat F Mike Miller (ear infection) was back with the team Sunday, though did not play. "He can't hear anything we're saying," Spoelstra quipped before the game. ... The Heat held a moment of silence pregame for Los Angeles Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss, the moment ending with warm applause from the crowd.