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Heat come from seven down in final two minutes to beat the Cavs

Nov 24, 2012, 11:48 PM EDT

Miami Heat's Allen celebrates his game-winning basket against Cleveland Cavaliers during their NBA basketball game in Miami

The Cavaliers had no business being in this game with the Heat, in Miami, without the injured Kyrie Irving. But they weren’t only in it, they were on track to win it — until the final two minutes, when it all fell apart.

The Heat beat Cleveland 110-108 on Saturday, but they waited until almost the last possible moment to do so.

Cleveland led this one by 11 at the half, and kept Miami at bay for 46 minutes. Every time the Heat made a run, the Cavs seemed to respond. The games are played for 48 minutes, however, and those last two were where Miami turned it on and made sure they’d leave with the victory.

How did the Cavaliers manage to control the game against the defending world champions, despite the disparity in talent? By getting everyone involved to where they had eight players score in double figures, hitting 14-of-31 three-pointers as a team which was good for over 45 percent, and turning the ball over just 11 times.

Still, it wasn’t enough. Because when the game got tight and the Heat had LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Ray Allen all making plays down the stretch, the lack of star power on the Cavaliers finally was exposed.

Cleveland led 108-101 with under two minutes to play, after a three-pointer from LeBron’s former teammate, Daniel Gibson. Those would be the last points the Cavaliers scored all night.

On the next possession, James took the ball at the top of the arc and drove to the basket for a layup as if the defense wasn’t even there. After Chris Bosh stopped an attempt in the lane from Jeremy Pargo, Allen scored on a driving layup and was fouled, giving him the and-1 opportunity to cut the lead to just two, which he did after sinking the obligatory free throw.

With the walls beginning to close in on the Cavs, Gibson airballed a three-pointer from the left wing, and Anderson Varejao missed a 20-foot jumper after an offensive rebound from Alonzo Gee had given Cleveland another shot.

On the Heat’s next possession, Wade fed the ball to LeBron in the post, and when the help defenders came, he quickly tossed it out to an open Ray Allen, who calmly knocked down the three that would prove to be the game-winner. The Cavs had one more chance with possession and trailing by one, but Pargo dribbled into the teeth of the Heat defense, and had his shot blocked by Wade in the game’s final few seconds.

The Heat have talked about the fact that they’re experiencing what all champions experience, which is everyone bringing their A-game each and every night to try to take down the team that hoisted the trophy last June.

An undermanned Cavs team shouldn’t have been able to put up 108 points on the Heat’s home floor, no matter the ultimate result. But Miami turned it on when it mattered, and came away with the victory nonetheless.

  1. dko83 - Nov 25, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    As much as I hate the Heat, I don’t really mind this given that Dan Gilbert is a douche and it must have pained him so much to get torched by Lebron’s new team. Also, You can take the knife out of my back whenever you’re ready Ray.

    • raidmagic - Nov 25, 2012 at 9:36 AM

      So all last season when the C’s were trying to trade him that was ok but for him to leave in free agency when the writing was on the wall they were moving on from him with Bradley taking his minutes and the signing of Terry he’s a trader for doing what was best for him? Ummmm, OK.

      • eventhorizon04 - Nov 25, 2012 at 9:49 AM

        Here’s how Celtics fans reacted when news broke that Ray Allen was going to be traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for OJ Mayo last year:

        “Well, Danny Ainge has to do what’s best for the team. Trading Ray Allen for OJ Mayo makes Boston younger and more athletic, while Allen is on the decline. The NBA is a business – it’s nothing personal. A team can’t let sentimental feelings to a player prevent them from making a good trade.”

        Here’s how Celtics fans reacted after Ray Allen decided to leave in free agency 2 days after the Celtics signed Jason Terry as an obvious replacement:

        “TRAITOR!!! The Celtics were a FAMILY, man, they were BROTHERS! How could Ray Allen leave his FAMILY? Jesus Shuttlesworth? More like JUDAS SHUTTLESWORTH! What happened to loyalty? What a back-stabber!”

        Fans only demand loyalty when a player they like on their team is a free agent.
        When fans see a potential upgrade on another team, fans don’t care about loyalty anymore – they come up with potential trades.

      • jjordannba - Nov 25, 2012 at 12:05 PM

        eventhorizon04 you guys are all idiots if you think that all Celtics fans reacted like that, I actually didn’t want that OJ Mayo/Ray Alllen trade to go through and was relieved when it didn’t. I also remember a few years back when there were Ray Allen for Rip Hamilton and Prince trade talks that I didn’t want to happen. I never wanted Ray Allen gone. I wanted the Big 3 to remain intact till retirement.

      • jjordannba - Nov 25, 2012 at 12:09 PM

        Matter of fact let me show yall Heat fans switched up yall whole attitude on Ray Allen as well. Ray With Boston: Oh Ray Allen sucks, he’s old all of Boston’s players are old, all he can do is shoot 3s he’s the worst one.
        Heat fans now: Oh Ray Allen is so clutch, he is the best he bailed us out because he is the best closer on the team and we couldn’t win these games last year.

      • borderline1988 - Nov 25, 2012 at 12:14 PM

        I completely agree…loyalty is a dumb concept, both for players and GMs.

        Nonwithstanding, I hated Lebron and Bosh for the way they left Cleveland and Toronto. Lebron for obvious reasons.
        Bosh left Toronto without ever saying thanks, without ever as much as acknowledging the fans here. A simple press conference would have been enough for me…the fact that he didn’t give a s*** about all the fans and kids that worshipped him for 7 years really pissed me off especially considering that Bosh is an intelligent thoughtful person (unlike most modern sports stars…).

        Players do have the right to decide where they want to play once they are FAs, but their sense of entitlement is ridiculous sometimes.

      • borderline1988 - Nov 25, 2012 at 12:16 PM

        I forgot my point:

        Ray Allen left the Celtics with class. I don’t know what more you could ask of him. On the other hand, the Celtics organization didn’t treat Allen with class in the slightest (before he left and afterwards).

      • jimeejohnson - Nov 25, 2012 at 12:30 PM

        jjordannba: many Celtics fans called Allen a “traitor” and worse when he bolted for the Heat, even thought these same “fans” were not opposed to a trade. I read the Boston Globe daily, and have seen many of these kinds of sore loser comments.

      • jjordannba - Nov 25, 2012 at 1:00 PM

        Cool Cool that wasn’t me though

      • dko83 - Nov 26, 2012 at 1:22 AM

        I was more joking than anything. I’m fine he’s gone. Celtics with C Lee, Terry, and Bradley are much better off anyway.

  2. badintent - Nov 25, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    Yaaaawn. “The more things change, the more they don’t ”
    This is what your mama called”Dan, you gonna get what’s coming to ya”
    Definition for Cleveland Cav fan:Sadist personality disorder. Karma

  3. dls612 - Nov 25, 2012 at 6:31 AM

    This was a bitter sweet victory for me. Bitter because they had too many unforced turnovers and they didn’t defend the perimeter giving up a lot of threes! Sweet because they found a way to win, even though I would have preferred it to have been an easy victory I do understand that there will be nights when teams are shooting well and having one of those nights to no discredited to the Cavs. I guess you need games like this to see what your team is made of So I can deal with the way they won the game. Way to go Ray!

  4. totallyuselessme - Nov 25, 2012 at 8:19 AM

    Ray Allen. So clutch. SO clutch. Don’t blame him for leaving either, Boston fans. They were giving all his starting minutes to Bradley already, then they brought Terry onboard. They were reducing his role tremendously. Ray wanted to play, so he went somewhere where he could.

    And man oh man, he’s showing he still deserves those minutes. So, so, so cold-blooded and clutch. Guy’s a legend for a reason.

  5. 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 25, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    Hope Bill Simmons was watching.

  6. michaeljordanseviltwin - Nov 25, 2012 at 10:30 AM


  7. drewdatwit84 - Nov 25, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Well this Heat fan never spoke bad of Ray Allen. as much as I hate the C’s, the only two ppl over there I could say I admired was Coach Rivers and Ray Allen. everybody in Miami thinks Pierce is a flop artist/actress, Rondo is a moody little bitch, and KG is really by far THE dirtiest player in the NBA.

    Oh, and this may shock some ppl, but I’m one of the few Heat fans who didn’t want LeBron to come to the Heat. simply bcuz of how he quit on Cleveland, bcuz he played weak in pressure situations. (Not anymore, but back then he did).

  8. birdsofprey305 - Nov 25, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    @ drewdatwit84 your full of it , Im a heat fan who wanted lebron to go to Chicago so he wouldnt be in wades shadow. There was nothing wrong with how lebron left Cleveland if he would’ve went to the knicks the east coast media wouldn’t have crucified him. Lebron did not quit on the cavs you can only point out one game. Lebron was surrounded by mediocrity and know star wants to play in Cleveland , he no choice but to leave he outgrew the franchise.

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