Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat Preview
Where: AmericanAirlines Arena – Miami, FL
When: Saturday, March 4, 2017, 8:00 PM ET
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Betting on the Cleveland Cavaliers (42-18)
The Cleveland Cavaliers returned to winning ways Friday with a thrilling 135-130 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. It was a historic victory for the Cavs who set the NBA regular-season record for three-point field goals made in a single game with 25. With the win, Cleveland moved 3.5 games clear of Boston atop the Eastern Conference standings.
The Cavs will look to sustain the momentum of that huge win when they lock horns with the Miami Heat later tonight. For the Cavs to accomplish that feat, they will need to continue their excellent play on the offensive end. Cleveland is third in the NBA in scoring, averaging a whopping 111.4 points per game this season. They will have their work cut out for them, however, against a Miami side that’s fifth in the NBA in scoring defense, surrendering just 102.1 points per contest.
That being said, there’s no defense in the world that can stop LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in full flight. The Hawks found that out the hard way on Friday with James and Irving combining for 81 huge points. They were also feeling it from beyond the arc, nailing 11 of their 18 three-point attempts against Atlanta. James and Irving scored 27 and 23 points respectively, in Cleveland’s 114-84 thrashing of Miami earlier this season.
The Cavs are 5-2 SU and ATS in their last seven road games.
Betting on the Miami Heat (28-34)
The Miami Heat came crashing back to earth on Friday as they absorbed a stinging 110-99 loss to the Orlando Magic. The Heat had difficulty stopping Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon who combined for 46 points and 19 boards. With the defeat, the Heat have now lost two of their last three outings.
The Heat will look to get their season back on track when they square off with the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight. For Miami to grab the all-important victory, it needs to improve on its play on the offensive end. The Heat shot just 38.5 percent from the field on Friday as they failed to reach the 100-point mark for just the second time in their last six games. The Heat also lost the last time they failed to hit triple digits so it’s crucial for head coach Erik Spoelstra that he gets Miami’s offense going quickly against Cleveland.
Expected to lead the way for Miami in this critical showdown is Hassan Whiteside. He recorded his 40th double-double of the season in the loss to Orlando, finishing with 15 points and 18 rebounds. The Heat will also need to get huge bounce-back performances from Dion Waiters and Goran Dragic. The backcourt duo shot a combined 4-of-25 from the field in the loss to the Magic.
The Heat are 9-1 SU and ATS in their last 10 home games.
Cleveland (-4.5) eases past Miami, 115-101.
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