National Basketball Association
Cleveland at Miami
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 22, 2020
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
The Miami Heat attempt to defeat Cleveland for the eighth straight time when they host the Cavaliers on Saturday. The contest is the first of a home-and-home set between the teams that also features a Monday contest in Cleveland.
J.B. Bickerstaff replaced John Beilein - who resigned earlier this week - as coach of the Cavaliers on an interim basis and the club debut for the former Memphis coach went well with his team overcoming a 16-point deficit to post a 113-108 road win over the Washington Wizards on Friday. "Played with a grit," veteran center Tristan Thompson said in a postgame television interview. "Obviously, we won't talk about the past but in Memphis they talk about that grit and grind. If we can bring that to Northeast Ohio for the last two months of the season it will be good for the young guys and the city of Cleveland." The Heat are enduring their worst stretch of the season as they fell for the fifth time in six games with Thursday's 129-124 road loss against the Atlanta Hawks. "We'll figure it out," All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler told reporters afterward. "We've got nothing but time. ... I'm confident in our group." TIME:
8 p.m. ET. TV:
FS Ohio, FS SunABOUT THE CAVALIERS (15-40):
Point guard Collin Sexton scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter and Cleveland wrestled control away from the Wizards with a 20-4 burst in the stanza. "We continued to fight and play hard the entire game," Sexton said afterward. "We came out with the victory and it feels good." The team had a looser nature than in recent weeks due to the coaching change as several players were unhappy with the methods of Beilein, who also alienated players by referring to them as thugs in a team meeting and later saying he meant to call them "slugs." ABOUT THE HEAT (35-20):
Atlanta star Trae Young torched Miami for 50 points in the first game after the All-Star break as the Heat allowed 115 or more points for the fourth time in the past six games. "This has been all season," All-Star center Bam Adebayo told reporters of the defensive breakdowns. "And this is not just one game, this has been happening all season. I mean, I'm running out of solutions. You've got to get stops. That's it. That's the solution right there. You've just got to guard." Adebayo continued his stellar season with 28 points and a season-best 19 rebounds against the Hawks.BUZZER BEATERS
1. The Heat won two November meetings by an average of 17.5 points.
2. Cleveland C Andre Drummond recorded 12 points and 12 rebounds against the Wizards for his third straight double-double since being acquired from the Detroit Pistons.
3. Miami reserve SG Tyler Herro (foot) is expected to miss his seventh straight contest.PREDICTION:
Heat 105, Cavaliers 98
Stats and Records