With the home team only up 6 points, heading into the 4th quarter, head coach Erik Spoelstra called upon his newly found “closing unit” to finish out the game. LeBron James, who had another solid night, finishing with 24 points 6 assists and 5 rebounds, joined his fellow closing mates: Dwyane Wade, Mike Miller, Chris Bosh, and Udonis Haslem to finish off LeBron’s former team.
Why would this particular group be in during crunch time? Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra like to preach a similar theme throughout the Heat’s 66 game season, defense. With this lineup on the floor for most of the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers were held to 0 points in transition and shot an awful 25% from the field in their half court set. Kyrie Irving, who finished with 16 points and 6 assists for the Cavs, put it best, “In the fourth quarter, I felt that we could make a run but we were just not hitting shots. They weren’t falling.” What the young rookie failed to realize was that, Spoelstra had entered his defensive powerhouse at the end of the game to stop the Cavs from scoring so easily.
As far as the offensive production in the fourth, D. Wade led the way with 8 points and a dunk on Anderson Varejao to let the Cavs know that it was time to throw in the white towel and pack their bags. Wade finished the game with a team high, 26 points, to go along with 6 assists and 4 rebounds. Next up on Miami’s plate is a 6 game road trip that concludes in a building that LeBron is ever so familiar with, the Quicken Loans Arena.