An inspiring night for the Heat, but with limited love – The Mercury News


Observations and other notes of interest from Friday night’s 119-115 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers:

– Kevin Love’s signature made sense from a known quantity perspective.

– Understood.

– But for every action, there is an opposite reaction.

– On Friday night, the opposite reaction was the Cavaliers fielding a 6-foot-3 Donovan Mitchell defensively at 6-8 Love.

– This allowed the Cavaliers’ Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley to focus on greater defensive concerns.

– The heat meter was supposed to put Love in the paint sometimes.

– That it’s not his game.

– And it also obstructs painting for Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler.

– With opponents sure to score in the playoffs/play-in.

– If Love isn’t converting threes, he could be a liability on both the offensive and defensive end.

– The Cavaliers certainly knew how to handle Love.

“And he might as well have offered a project.

– Trevor Ariza 2.0?

– Love closed out 1-of-5 on 3 points and is now 9-of-38 beyond the arc with the Heat.

– In the end, the Heat managed, which is what matters most.

– The face of the match changed when the Cavaliers announced that Darius Garland would be out due to a hip injury.

— Garland led the Cavaliers with 25 points as Cleveland beat the Heat on Wednesday.

– He was replaced in Cleveland’s starting lineup by Caris LeVert.

– The Cavaliers went 10-0 in Garland’s absence.

– With Mitchell clearly able to make up for it.

– The Heat remained with their roster of Adebayo, Love, Butler, Tyler Herro and Gabe Vincent.

– Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller again joined as the Heat’s first two replacements.

– With Oladipo promptly hitting the Heat’s first 3-pointer.

– The 3-point attempt was the 2,300th of his career.

– Caleb Martin followed as the Heat’s third substitute.

– With Max Strus again reaching nine depths.

– A 3-point error followed.

– Which apparently became a nocturnal occurrence.

– Until Strus and Herro started to find their range.

– With his ninth point, Herro passed Shaquille O’Neal for 18th on the Heat’s all-time scoring list.

– With his third point, Butler passed Mario Chalmers for 13th on the Heat’s all-time scoring list.

– Butler’s fourth free throw was the 4,100th of his career.

– Love’s second rebound was the 9,000th of his career.

– Love’s second offensive rebound moved him ahead of Clarence Weatherspoon for 83rd on the NBA’s all-time list.

– Adebayo’s second free-throw attempt moved him past Chris Bosh for sixth on the Heat’s all-time list.

– Strus’s first 3-pointer tied Kelly Olynyk for 13th on the Heat’s all-time list.

– Friday’s game opened a consecutive set that ends on Saturday in Orlando.

–But coach Erik Spoelstra said the Heat are beyond specific plans for moving forward for such back-to-backs.

“Let’s find out,” he said. “I feel much better where we are physically than where we were six weeks ago.”

— Three more back-to-backs head to the Heat before the end of the regular season, with all six of those games away from home.

– Spoelstra came in expecting a grind as the teams played for the second time in three days.

“I don’t expect this to be an easy kind of game,” he said.

– That held true for the Heat after trailing by 14 in the third.


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