Butler scores 33, Heat rally to topple Cavaliers 119-115

MIAMI (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 33 points, Tyler Herro added 25 and the Miami Heat rallied from a 14-point, second-half deficit to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 119-115 on Friday night.

Bam Adebayo scored 19 points and Max Strus had 14 for the Heat, who split a two-game home set with the Cavaliers.

Donovan Mitchell led all scorers with 42 points for Cleveland, which got 16 apiece from Isaac Okoro and Caris LeVert. Evan Mobley added 12 for the Cavaliers.

Cleveland (42-27) fell 3-1/2 games behind Philadelphia in the race for the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference; the 76ers (44-22) edged Portland 120-119 on Friday.

Miami (36-32) remains No. 7 in the East.

Butler scored 12 in the fourth, when Miami outscored Cleveland 37-26. He scored eight consecutive Heat points over a two-minute stretch midway through the final quarter, and Herro hit a 3-pointer with 1:36 left to put Miami up 113-106.

But Cleveland made it very interesting. Helped by Miami committing offensive fouls on illegal screens on back-to-back possessions, the Cavaliers cut the lead to one when Mobley got a dunk with 38.3 seconds left.

The Cavs never got the lead back, and a Butler foul helped Miami finish it off. With the Heat up three, Butler fouled Mitchell near midcourt with 5.6 seconds left — not letting Cleveland get any looks at a potentially game-tying 3-point shot.

Mitchell made the first and intentionally missed the second. It was a ploy he's used before — most notably in the Jan. 2 game against Chicago when he forced overtime in what became his 71-point game by running down an intentionally missed foul shot and scoring. But the Heat were ready this time, Butler got the rebound, and iced the game with two last free throws.

Cleveland took the lead midway through the second quarter on a 3-pointer by LeVert that made it 41-40, and eventually pushed the margin to 14 on two separate occasions in the third. Miami made a burst to get within 89-82 going into the fourth, providing a spark.

And the Heat came out flying to start the final quarter.

Herro made 3-pointers on consecutive possessions for the lead. The first one with 9:11 left got Miami within one, and after Okoro missed a dunk on the ensuing Cleveland possession, Herro connected in transition for a 93-91 Heat edge.


Cavaliers: G Darius Garland missed the game with a right quadricep contusion, suffered in Wednesday’s win over Miami. He’s day-to-day. ... Jarrett Allen was inadvertently poked in the eye by Adebayo as the two were among those going for a rebound with 3:53 left. The play was reviewed and determined to be a common foul; Allen left the game.

Heat: PG Kyle Lowry missed his 15th consecutive game with left knee soreness. He’s hoping to return at Orlando on Saturday.


It was Miami's sixth time coming back and winning after trailing a game by at least 14 points this season.


Mitchell scored at least 25 points in a first half for the third time this season — all on the road. He had 27 at Dallas on Dec. 14, 25 in his return to Utah on Jan. 10, and 25 on Friday. He had “only” 16 at the half of his 71-point game in Cleveland against Chicago on Jan. 2.


Cavaliers: Visit Charlotte on Sunday.

Heat: Visit Orlando on Saturday.


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Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press