Heat at a (lopsided) loss in Cleveland with Bam Adebayo back but Butler, Herro still out

This is why the Miami Heat needed that one that got away on Wednesday night in Toronto, when Jimmy Butler still was ambulatory.

It is why holding their lead would have been crucial in Friday night’s overtime loss in Washington, when there instead was a one-point loss.

Because this was always going to be a challenging spot on Sunday night in Cleveland, and it proved to very much be that, with a 113-87 loss to the Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse extending the Heat’s losing streak to three and dropping the record to 7-10.

With Bam Adebayo back, but with Butler, Tyler Herro and Gabe Vincent still out, the Heat lacked the wherewithal to hang with an emerging contender in the Eastern Conference and now are on a six-game road losing streak.

“It didn’t feel like we had a lot of juice and pop tonight,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Our activity level was low, focus. Our detail work was not the best.”

Adebayo had his moments in his return, with 21 points in his 27 minutes. But otherwise there was not enough to contend with the Cavaliers’ mix of Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, among others, with Cleveland thriving even in the injury absence of Kevin Love.

“We certainly didn’t have enough energy,” Spoelstra said.

The game effectively was over when the Cavaliers pushed their lead into the 20s midway through the third period.

“A good, old-fashioned ass-kicking,” Heat guard Max Strus said. “Take that one and move on.”

Garland led the Cavaliers with 25 points.

“A tough one for us,” Heat point guard Kyle Lowry said, “I’ll tell you that.”

Five Degrees of Heat from Sunday’s game:

1. Closing time: The Heat trailed 28-27 after the first period, went down 19 in the second, and trailed 59-42 at halftime.

It then further unraveled, with Cleveland’s taking a 95-64 …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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