NBA: Explosive Heat honor Wade, crush Cavs

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Feb 23 2020 02:22 PM

Miami Heat former player Dwyane Wade reacts during his jersey retirement celebration at American Airlines Arena. Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.

Hot-shooting Miami produced its best half in franchise history and romped over the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers 124-105 on a Saturday night when the Heat retired the jersey of iconic guard Dwyane Wade.

Playing without top scorer Jimmy Butler (personal reasons), the Heat made 14 of their first 17 shots and raced out to their best half ever by leading 82-52 at the halftime break.

In its last home game on Feb. 3 against the Philadelphia 76ers, Miami -- with five-time All-Star Butler notching a season-high 38 against his former team -- scored 81 points in the second half of its 137-106 victory.

Kendrick Nunn tallied 24 points and eight assists to lead seven Miami players who scored in double figures. Duncan Robinson added 19, Kelly Olynyk 17 and Goran Dragic 16. Bam Adebayo had 15, and Derrick Jones Jr. and Jae Crowder each had 13.

Miami improved to 23-3 at home but won for just the second time in seven games. The Heat shot 57 percent from the field and connected on 19 of 40 3-pointers.

At halftime, the Heat honored Wade -- their 13-time All-Star -- whose No. 3 jersey was retired and raised to the rafters at AmericanAirlines Arena. Wade, 38, helped Miami to three NBA championships and is the organization's all-time leader in games, points, assists and steals.

The Cavaliers, who own the worst record in the Eastern Conference (15-41), were paced by Cedi Osman's 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, while Collin Sexton added 17 points and Tristan Thompson scored 16.

Second-leading scorer Kevin Love rested his ailing Achilles on the second game of back-to-backs for Cleveland, which has dropped seven of its last nine and lost its 18th straight game in Miami.

The meeting was the teams' third this season, with Miami claiming sizable wins by 20-plus-point margins in the previous two contests. The teams face each other Monday in Cleveland to conclude the season series.

The Heat made their first nine field-goal attempts in the game's opening 4:59 as Robinson scored eight points, but Cleveland was equal to the challenge, getting 10 points from Osman. But Miami held a 38-32 advantage in the high-scoring first quarter as Olynyk posted 11 points.

Miami stretched the lead to as high as 31 late in the second quarter and parlayed 76.9 percent shooting and 23 assists into the record-setting half, which ended with the Heat up 82-52.

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