Kevin Love heated up to lead the Cavs to another win
The Cleveland Cavaliers make it to four straight double-digit wins after holding the fort against the Miami Heat at home. After snapping a 20-game drought in Miami two weeks ago, the Cavs doubled down with a 105-94 victory in the rematch at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.
After a nip-and-tuck affair early, Cleveland began to pull away in the second half behind Kevin Love’s heroics. The veteran forward erupted to score all of his season-high 23 points in the final two periods, draining five of eight threes to lead all Cavs in scoring.
Several other Cavaliers continued to figure in another balanced offensive attack, including breakout scorer Isaac Okoro who notched 18, Jarrett Allen with 17, Darius Garland’s 16, and Lauri Markkanen with 12.
Rookie sensation Evan Mobley was the only starter who failed to join that club as he finished with nine points and five boards in a rare modest outing but remained key in the Cavs winning convincingly against another playoff team.
Cavs will look to close out the homestand with a bang
After getting blown out at home at the start of the month, Miami undoubtedly came into Cleveland with a chip on their shoulders and an eye towards getting even with the surging Cavaliers.
That proved to be a difficult task to achieve, however, especially without two of the Heat’s best players in Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo still unable to suit up against a determined Cavaliers squad playing in front of their raucous home crowd.
The young Cavs team continued to put the rest of the NBA on notice after winning eight of their previous ten contests by double-figures. A probability report from stats site Basketball-Reference now predicts they would likely secure a playoffs spot–plus the best odds to finish atop of the Eastern Conference in the postseason(!).
In order to stay on that trajectory, Cleveland would do well to close out the tail end of a three-game homestand against a surprisingly surging Houston Rockets on December 15 before embarking on another tough road trip against several playoff contenders.