NBA

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 - 7:30 PM ET
Game Preview
 

Cavaliers-Heat Preview

Share This Story

   
 

Miami and Cleveland will forever be linked by LeBron James' decision to abandon his hometown Cavaliers and bolt to South Beach in the summer of 2010.

While matchups in Cleveland bring out passionate Cavs fans eager to harass James, meetings in Miami have been far more subdued.

In a game that is generating significantly less buzz than last season, James and the Heat look to hand the struggling Cavaliers a fourth straight loss Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.

James and Miami took three of four from Cleveland in 2010-11 with the seven-time All-Star averaging 27.5 points, 8.3 assists and 8.0 rebounds against his former team. While the Heat would go on to reach the NBA finals before falling to Dallas, the Cavs ended the season with an Eastern Conference-worst 63 losses.

Miami (11-5) figures to contend for a title again, while Cleveland (6-9) has stumbled after a somewhat promising start.

The Heat are coming off a sluggish performance Sunday, however, losing to Milwaukee 91-82 to snap a three-game winning streak. James had 28 points and 13 rebounds, but Miami finished with season lows in points, field-goal percentage (37.3), field goals (25) and assists (nine).

The Heat were playing for the second straight night and third time in four days.

"We can't make no excuses for ourselves," James said. "But no one had energy from the start of the game to the end."

Chris Bosh scored 23 points - usually enough to help get Miami a victory - but the team lost for the first time in eight games this season when he reaches the 20-point mark.

The Heat also lost for the first time in seven games without Dwyane Wade, still nursing a sprained right ankle. Wade, who averaged 27.0 points on 54.7 percent shooting against the Cavs last season, has sat out the last four games and his status remains uncertain.

James has done a good job of carrying the Heat in Wade's absence. He is averaging 30.8 points on 55.4 percent shooting in the six games he has played that Wade has missed.

Since James left Cleveland, the Cavs have been looking for someone to heal the scar James left on the franchise, and it appears rookie guard Kyrie Irving could be up to the challenge.

Irving - Cleveland's first No. 1 overall pick in the draft since selecting James in 2003 - leads all rookies with 17.4 points per game and is shooting 42.5 percent from 3-point range and 50.0 percent from the floor. He has started every game and is playing with confidence, but the team is coming off a pair of embarrassing losses.

After falling 114-75 to a Chicago team playing without Derrick Rose on Friday, the Cavs lost 121-94 to Atlanta the following night.

"To come out (Friday) night and perform the way we did was disappointing," forward Antawn Jamison said. "But to come out again, after what we talked about, and pretty much give the same performance, is even worse.

"(Friday) night, we didn't compete at all. But (Saturday), we do stupid things."

Irving had seven of Cleveland's 20 turnovers Saturday along with a season-low two assists, and the team allowed the Hawks to shoot 55.4 percent.

The Cavs have had trouble slowing down their opponents during their three-game skid, allowing an average of 113.3 points on 51.2 percent shooting, and that could lead to problems against Miami's high-octane offense.

Before going cold against the Bucks, the Heat were averaging 110.3 points on 52.2 percent shooting in their previous three games.

Tagged: Cavaliers, Heat, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..