Cavaliers rally from 22-point deficit, beat Heat 125-119 in overtime

The Cavs improve to 16-41 this season

James Rapien
February 24, 2020 - 10:04 pm
Feb 24, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond (3) misses a dunk beside Miami Heat forward Bam Adebayo (13) in the first quarter at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

© David Richard-USA TODAY Sports


CLEVELAND, OH — The Cavaliers were in danger of being blown out by the Heat for a fourth time this season, but Kevin Porter Jr. had other plans. The rookie guard helped Cleveland rally from a 22-point deficit by scoring 11 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter to force overtime.

The Cavs stunned the Heat 125-119 to avoid the season sweep. They outscored Miami 14-8 in overtime to get the win.

Cleveland trailed 99-80 entering the fourth quarter. They went on a 27-5 run to take a 107-104 lead with 4:10 left after Porter made back-to-back 3-pointers.

The Cavaliers’ defense got stop after stop, which put Darius Garland in position to deliver the knockout blow. His finger roll layup with 26 seconds remaining gave Cleveland a 110-107 lead, but it wasn't enough. 

Heat guard Goran Dragic answered with a layup of his own. Porter went 1-for-2 from the free throw line and Miami took advantage. Kendrick Nunn made a 3-foot jump shot in the closing seconds to force overtime.

The Cavaliers trailed by one in the extra frame, but Porter changed that with a two-handed dunk that gave the home team a 119-118 lead with 1:20 remaining.

Cleveland got a stop on defense and Garland came up big again in crunch time. He used a crafty pump fake to get free for a short jump shot that gave the Cavs a 121-118 lead with 42 remaining.

The Cavaliers outscored the Heat 45-20 in the fourth quarter and overtime, relying on their defensie to complete the comeback.

Garland finished with 14 points, five rebounds and seven assists. Porter added eight rebounds and three assists. 

Seven players scored 10 or more points for Cleveland. Their balanced attack helped them overcome a lackluster start. The Heat went on a 10-0 run to start the game and didn’t trail until the fourth quarter.

Kevin Love finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Tristan Thompson had 15 points and nine rebounds off the bench.

The Cavaliers improve to 16-41 this season and 2-1 under J.B. Bickerstaff. They’ve won three out of their last four games.

Another Injury

Dante Exum sprained his left ankle in the second quarter. He tried to walk off the floor under his own power, but fell back onto the court and needed assistance back to the Cavaliers locker room.

Exum didn’t return to the game. The 24-year-old has dealt with multiple injuries throughout his career, including knee (ACL) and shoulder (separation) injuries.

Battle in the Paint

Heat All-Star Bam Adebayo got the best of Andre Drummond for a second straight matchup. Adebayo finished with 22 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists.

Drummond made two 3-pointers, but shot just 5-for-14 from the field, finishing with 13 points and six rebounds.

Up Next

The Cavaliers play the 76ers on Wednesday at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.