The Miami HEAT defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 124-121 in overtime Monday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Tyler Johnson led the way for the HEAT with 24 points.
1. T. Johnson Comes Through In The Clutch
All season long, Tyler Johnson has shown that he’ll do whatever it takes to come away victorious. That was on full display against the Cavaliers, especially in overtime. In fact, the 24-year-old hit four clutch free throws with under 30 seconds left en-route to an eight-point overtime period.
Earlier, Johnson provided a nice spark off the bench in the first half thanks to a balanced attack of catch-and-shoot jumpers and drives to the bucket.
In addition to his team-high 24 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-6 from downtown, the combo guard also had five boards, four assists and a plus-15 rating.
2. Richardson Sharp On Both Ends
While Josh Richardson had a solid start to the contest offensively, his tenacity on the defensive end in the fourth quarter and overtime period was fantastic. Simply put, the 23-year-old hounded Deron Williams and amassed a team-high five steals for the second-consecutive game. Let’s take a look at a perfect example of that early on in the fourth.
With 11:03 left in the period, Richardson swiped an errant pass from Williams and took it all the way for the one-handed jam.
Later on, Richardson hit a clutch jumper as the shot clock was winding down to put Miami up 120-117 with 42.3 seconds left in overtime.
Richardson finished with 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting, six rebounds and four assists to go along with his aforementioned five steals.
3. J. Johnson Goes Off In The Fourth
After getting into foul trouble early, James Johnson looked like he exploded out of a canon at the start of the fourth quarter. As such, the forward scored 10 points in the first four minutes of the period, including this and-one finish off a pick-and-roll with T. Johnson.
In all, J. Johnson scored 16 points and dished out a team-high nine assists.
-Wayne Ellington hit three big treys in the fourth quarter to help the HEAT gain some momentum. When it was all said and done, the 29-year-old totaled 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting and two boards.
-Throughout the evening, Hassan Whiteside worked hard inside and found some success against Cleveland’s undersized bigs. That was important, but the 27-year-old also hit two crucial free throws to put the HEAT up 118-115 with 1:59 left to play. Whiteside ended up with 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting, 18 rebounds and two blocks.
-Dion Waiters (sprained left ankle) and Justise Winslow (right shoulder surgery) sat out.
-The HEAT will close out the regular season against the Wizards on Wednesday at 8:00 PM. Tickets for that game can be found here.