NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 14th (All times Eastern)
Cleveland Cavaliers (9-13) at Miami Heat (16-6), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Heat just split a recent road trip and are back home for five straight games, starting with Saturday's showdown with Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers at AmericanAirlines Arena.
The Heat went 2-2 on the trek and dropped a 90-84 decision to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday in a battle between the top teams in the East. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade scored 17 points apiece and Chris Bosh netted 12 for Miami, which made 42.9 percent of its shots and just 4-of-21 3-pointers.
Chris Andersen chipped in 10 points off the bench.
Pacers star Paul George scored 15 of his 17 points on 4-of-7 shooting over the final 24 minutes.
"The biggest difference in Paul (George) I think is confidence. He has the confidence of being the go-to-guy, knowing that he's the guy that has to go out and do it every night," James said.
Miami had a 30-19 lead after the first quarter, but the Pacers won the last three quarters to pull away. A 7-0 run by the Pacers in the fourth quarter staked them to an 81-72 advantage. The Heat later pulled within 86-81.
James has currently scored in double-figures in 517 consecutive games. Moses Malone is next on the list with 526 games in a row. Meanwhile, Ray Allen is 15 points shy of 24,000 in his career. He scored three points against Indiana, one game after posting 18 in a win at Detroit.
The Heat are 9-2 as the host and will also welcome Utah, Indiana, Sacramento and Atlanta to the shores of Biscayne Bay. Heat reserve forward Michael Beasley is expected to miss Saturday's game with a hamstring strain.
Cleveland will end its tour through Florida when it visits the Heat and recorded a 109-100 victory at Orlando Friday night.
Cavs star guard Irving had another strong performance with 31 points on 12- of-24 shooting against the Magic. He had 37 points versus New York on Tuesday and is averaging 29.3 points per game in the last three.
Dion Waiters scored 21 and Anderson Varejao had 10 points and 14 rebounds for Cleveland, which has won three in a row and five of six games.
"A good win for our guys," Cleveland head coach Mike Brown said. "For us, any road win right now is a good win."
The Cavs shot 48.3 percent for the game and improved to 2-10 on the road.
Cleveland suffered a 95-84 home loss to James and the Heat on Nov. 27. James, a former Cavalier, had 28 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, while Wade added 22 points for the Heat, who have won eight straight and 11 of the past 12 meetings between the teams.
Cleveland has lost six straight and 16 of its last 20 visits to South Beach.
12/14 10:31:09 ET