CLEVELAND (AP) – Rookie Kendrick Nunn scored 23 points, Bam Adebayo had 16 points and 15 rebounds, and the Miami Heat beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-97 on Thursday night.
Miami lead 96-74 early in the fourth before Cleveland rallied. Kevin Love hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions, cutting the Cavaliers’ deficit to 98-88 with seven minutes remaining.
Miami led the entire game and was up by 27 points in the third quarter. The Heat (8-3) have the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.
Jimmy Butler’s basket in the lane and a 3-pointer by Duncan Robinson helped stop Cleveland’s charge and Miami maintained a double-figure lead.
Rookie Tyler Herro, who missed Tuesday’s game with an ankle injury, had 16 points, while Butler finished with 14.
Love had 21 points and 10 rebounds for Cleveland, while Collin Sexton added 15 points.
Cleveland was coming off a 2-1 road trip and nearly beat Philadelphia on Tuesday before losing 98-97.
The Cavaliers’ chances of staying with another of the league’s top teams were hit with an early run. Miami made consecutive 3-pointers to take a 9-0 lead, forcing Cleveland coach John Beilein to use a timeout less than two minutes into the game.
The Heat continued to roll and had a 32-15 advantage late in the period. Miami was 15 of 25 from the field and didn’t go to the foul line in the quarter.
Cleveland regrouped briefly and cut the lead to 40-34 before Miami took control again with a stretch that included a 15-2 run and continued for the final nine minutes of the quarter. Herro scored 12 points in the period and helped push the lead to 68-44 at halftime.
Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. appeared to injure his left hand on a breakaway dunk in the fourth quarter. He went to the locker room and didn’t return. Nance has played with his left thumb wrapped for several games.
The Heat shot 43 of 79 from the field and made 12 of 30 from 3-point range.
Heat: F James Johnson was available after being out Tuesday because of illness, but didn’t play. … Robinson played for Beilein at the University of Michigan. … Justise Winslow (concussion), Derrick Jones Jr. (hip), KZ Okpala (Achilles) were out for Miami.
Cavaliers: Cleveland was 13 of 15 from the foul line in the first half, and still trailed by 22 points. … F Tristan Thompson, who had eight doubles-doubles in the first 10 games, was held to two points and three rebounds in 23 minutes.
Heat: Host New Orleans on Saturday. Miami swept the two-game season series over the Pelicans by 11 total points in 2018-19.
Cavaliers: Host Philadelphia on Sunday. The 76ers beat visiting Cleveland 98-97 on a Joel Embiid dunk with 14 seconds left Tuesday.
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