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Gameblog: Cavs vs. Miami Heat

By George Thomas Published: March 7, 2009

Post mortem:  Cavs 99, Heat 89
Coming on the tailend of a brutal portion of the schedule this is a victory that you do not over analyze.  You take it.  Leave the building rest and get ready for the upcoming three-game road trip that begins Tuesday.
That being said, if the Cavs give a team MVP this year, it had best go to Mo Williams because he is the reason they won that game. 
In the locker room you could tell that LeBron James was more tired than a hounddog in Alabama summer heat.  Saggy eyed, the usual charm was missing in interviews.  It's impressive that he tallied a triple double (14 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds), but in a way it was easy to see this wouldn't be a scoring night for him - even with Dwyane Wade in the building.
That left Williams to pick up any slack and he proved up to the task the way he has all season. He scored 29 points on 10-of-15 shooting and hit 6-of-7 treys.  He was just what the doctor ordered.
He's not a luxury for the Cavaliers he's a necessity.  In Zydrunas Ilgauskas' younger days he may have been an option down the stretch.  That has fallen to Williams and it relieves a lot of pressure for LeBron James.
At the half:  Cavs 50, Heat 36
The Cavs have lost two consecutive games once this season.  It doesn't look at if it's going to happen here, primarily because they're back on their game defensively, something sorely missing against the Boston Celtics. At the half, they've given up just 10 points in the paint, have been aggressive going to the ball. 
Point guard Mo Williams is on fire.  The Heat is making the mistake of letting him drift out onto the left wing for wide-open threes and he's draining all net. 
Game: Cavs (48-13) vs. Miami Heat (22-28)
Broadcast:  TV: FSOhio; Radio: WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)
Starters: LeBron James (F); Anderson Varejao (F); Zydruas Ilgauskas (C); Delonte West (G); Mo Williams (G). Heat:  Jamario Moon (F); Udonis Haslem  (F); Jermaine O’Neal (C); Dwyane Wade (G); Mario Chalmers.
Streaking: Both teams have won one.  The Cavaliers have only lost two consecutive once this season.
Officials: Ken Mauer, David Guthrie and Eli Roe.
Previously this year:  The Cavaliers lead the season series 2-1, but the game that everyone is still talking about is the show that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade put up 42 and 41 points respectively in a classic game of one-on-one within a team game. What to watch:

  • Dwayne Wade has been on a remarkable scoring binge this week, hitting 42 points Friday night in Toronto.  Gee, guess who Eastern Conference Player of the Week will be.  It will have to end some time and given the Cavs got spanked by Boston Friday it might be tonight.
  • The Cavaliers have only lost back-to-back games once this season against the Los Angeles Lakers and the Indiana Pacers.  You have to believe they’re not interested in that happening a second time given that it’s at home where they are 27-1.
  • LeBron James has rarely followed a mediocre game with another mediocre game.  Despite the fact that Boston’s Paul Pierce outplayed him Friday night, will he be up for a rematch with Wade?  A guess here says absolutely.
Quotables:
From the locker rooms:
Dwyane Wade on he and LeBron James intragame scoring shows:
It’s great first of all for the game. We’re two guys who are competitors. We don’t go into a game saying we’re going to outscore LeBron or he wants to outscore D-Wade. Some games that’s just how it’s going to be. That’s how it’ll go the rest of our career, it’s going to be like that.
LeBron James on the same:
Absolutely, you have fun with it. You definitely have fun with it. Knowing Dwyane personally, knowing the competitor he is, you should always should have fun against the best in this game.
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