Cleveland Cavaliers’ bench steps up in Kevin Love’s absence, torches short-handed Miami Heat 113-87

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cavaliers’ depth has been examined repeatedly in the primary month of the season, with Kevin Love’s damage being the most recent blow.

Or not.

The Cavs torched the Miami Heat, 113-87, on Sunday night time. It’s Cleveland’s second consecutive win, bettering its report to 6-1 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

In preparation for Sunday’s sport with out Love — final 12 months’s Sixth Man of the Year runner-up who has a hairline fracture of his proper thumb that would pressure him to overlook a number of video games — Cavs coach JB Bickerstaff contemplated one other beginning lineup change to present the wounded second unit slightly extra juice, sources inform cleveland.com. But Bickerstaff in the end caught with the quintet that labored so properly throughout Friday night time’s win over the Charlotte Hornets, placing his religion in a trio of reserves to select up the slack for Love.

As Bickerstaff likes to say, the power of the workforce is the workforce.

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Cleveland’s thinned-out bench stepped up Sunday night time. Caris LeVert, Isaac Okoro and Cedi Osman had been the one three who noticed minutes throughout a dominant first half. That quantity shrank much more when LeVert was dominated out at halftime due to a left ankle damage. At least, till Bickerstaff pulled some regulars and inserted the “victory cigars” with 7:53 remaining throughout the blowout.

Osman, who was primarily a DNP-coach’s resolution Friday (zero minutes in the second half and two overtimes), paced the second unit. He poured in a season-high 20 factors on 8-of-17 taking pictures and 4 of 11 from 3-point vary to go together with 12 rebounds and three assists in 37 scintillating minutes. With Osman on the ground, getting used as a de facto energy ahead in a downsized lineup, the Cavs outscored the Heat by 39 factors.

“He was able to go. I’ll say that,” Bickerstaff mentioned. “He’s a kind of guys the place there is a spirit and an power that we rely on, and we all know the elevate he provides us. I feel he wished to point out he was gonna benefit from his minutes.”

Okoro, the embattled younger swingman, scored in double figures for the primary time in 19 video games — a stretch that goes again to April 2 of final season. He completed with 13 factors on 4-of-8 taking pictures and a couple of of 5 from 3-point vary in 29 confidence-boosting minutes. It’s additionally his first time making a number of triples in a sport since March 24.

With Okoro on the ground, the Cavs outscored the Heat by 26 factors.

Despite failing to attain in 14 first-half minutes, LeVert nonetheless made an impression, shelling out 4 assists and grabbing 5 rebounds.

Miami was shorthanded as properly, taking part in with out its high two scorers — Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro — in addition to backup guard Gabe Vincent. The lack of depth proven all through, as coach Erik Spoelstra tried to piece collectively workable lineups. But every time Miami sprinkled in the backups, Cleveland pulled away, together with the start of the second quarter when the Cavs opened on a 10-3 run to achieve full management.

The Cavs led by 32 at one level earlier than cruising to victory.

“We undoubtedly wanted it,” Darius Garland mentioned concerning the significance of the win after a tough couple of weeks. “I feel the Charlotte win simply boosted every part. Just put us again in the profitable column that we would have liked to get us out of that hunch. Just attempting to hold it over and we did tonight.”

Garland led all scorers with 25 factors. He was one in all six Cavs in double figures.

The Heat received 21 factors from middle Bam Adebayo and 12 from Caleb Martin. Veteran level guard Kyle Lowry completed with simply 9 factors on 2-of-10 taking pictures.

No Love. No Dean Wade. No Dylan Windler. No Ricky Rubio. No drawback. Next man up. Without their second-unit chief and stabilizer, Osman, Okoro and LeVert supplied lots sufficient on this night time.

“We clearly have high-level gamers at a number of positions. But we’re not solely nearly as good as they’re,” Bickerstaff mentioned. “We’ll go so far as our workforce takes us. That’s what we preserve harping on, that is what we imagine in, that is what the celebrities imagine in. We’re not guys on an island by ourselves. We are a workforce.”

Up subsequent

The Cavs will play the second sport of a house back-to-back in opposition to the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night time. Tipoff is about for 7 pm

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