Jimmy Butler scores 23 as Heat hold off Cavaliers 100-97


CLEVELAND (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 23 points, Bam Adebayo added 18 points and 11 rebounds and the Miami Heat…

CLEVELAND (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 23 points, Bam Adebayo added 18 points and 11 rebounds and the Miami Heat showed their experience down the stretch in a 100-97 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night.

Caleb Martin scored 18 points and matched his career high with 10 rebounds, and Tyler Herro also scored 18 for the Heat, who moved within 1 1/2 games of the fifth-place Cavs in the Eastern Conference standings.

Butler, who has been slowed by injuries much of the season, hit a short jumper to put the Heat up 98-93 with 1:23 left, and his free throw kept the Heat up by five with 12 seconds left.

But Darius Garland hit a 3-pointer to pull the Cavs within 99-97 with 8.7 seconds remaining.

The Cavs fouled Butler with 7.3 seconds left. He split his free throws, giving Cleveland a chance to tie, but All-Star starter Donovan Mitchell’s 3-pointer at the buzzer was short.

Evan Mobley scored 19 points, Mitchell had 16 and Jarrett Allen added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavs, who dropped to 21-6 at home.

Mitchell and Darius Garland were a combined 4 of 19 on 3-pointers.

Cleveland held Miami scoreless over the first 4:59 of the fourth but couldn’t pull away, and the Heat quickly tied it 89-89 when Herro scored six points in a 26-second span.

After falling behind by nine points in the third, the Cavaliers closed the quarter with a 9-2 run, capped by Mitchell’s leaning 3-pointer at the horn to tie it 79-all heading into the fourth.

The NBA’s top-rated defensive team, the Cavs came out looking to make everything difficult for the Heat offensively.

Miami had no early answers and started 2 of 10 from the floor with five turnovers in the first five minutes.


Miami has been one of the league’s steadiest franchises, missing the playoffs just three times since 2008.

It’s a model Cleveland would like to follow.

Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff admires both the Heat’s consistency and ability to adapt. He credits Miami president Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra for leading the way.

“They have a philosophy and are flexible enough to change with the times and keep people wanting to be a part of it,” he said. “They have core values they believe in and then they do a great job of acquiring talent but finding talent in the cracks.

“Their best players aren’t always No. 1 picks. They have been able to work free agency, G League, later draft picks and turn it into talent because their player development staff is so good.”


Heat: Butler and Adebayo will likely be named All-Star reserves when the rosters are announced Thursday. Butler has been an All-Star six times, while Adebayo has only been selected once. Adebayo has scored in double figures in all 47 games this season, and 63 in a row dating to last season. Only Alonzo Mourning, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James have had longer streaks in team history. … C Omer Yurtseven, who hasn’t played this season following ankle surgery, was recently cleared for contact.

Cavaliers: Kevin Love (back spasms) sat out his fourth consecutive game. … Mobley was chosen to play in the 2023 Jordan Rising Stars at All-Star Weekend in Salt Lake City later this month. It’s his second straight invitation to the event.


Heat: At New York on Thursday.

Cavaliers: Host Memphis on Thursday.


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