CLEVELAND (AP) — Andrew Bogut broke his left leg less than one minute into his Cleveland debut and the Cavaliers were outgunned 106-98 on Monday night by the surging and not-to-be-overlooked Miami Heat, who beat the NBA champions twice in three nights.
Dion Waiters scored 29 points, Goran Dragic added 21 and the Heat held off a late rally by the Cavs, who trimmed a 20-point deficit to 103-98 in the final minute. It could have gotten tighter but LeBron James missed a long 3-pointer before Waiters banked one in with 12.2 seconds left.
Kyrie Irving scored 32 and James had 30 points and 17 rebounds as Cleveland dropped to 26-7 at home.
Miami has won 19 of 23, including victories over Golden State, Houston and two over Cleveland, which now has to find another rim protector after Bogut got hurt.
The 32-year-old was on the court for just 58 seconds before going down with the injury, a devastating blow to the former No. 1 overall pick who signed with the Cavs last week to help them defend their NBA title.
Bogut was unable to put any weight on his leg as he was helped to the locker room by new teammates Tristan Thompson and James Jones. The Cavs said initial X-rays revealed a fractured tibia and Bogut was taken to the Cleveland Clinic for further tests.
No matter what they show, Bogut will likely be out the remainder of the regular season.
Bogut’s injury sent a chill through the Cleveland crowd and seemed to affect the Cavs, who were without an ill coach Tyronn Lue and were out of rhythm even before the big man dropped to the floor clutching his leg in obvious pain.
James and Irving sat out Saturday’s game in Miami to rest and the Heat took advantage with a 120-92 victory.
That game ended with injured Cavs guard J.R. Smith being restrained and escorted from the floor by security after jawing with Waiters and Heat rookie Rodney McGruder.
There was no carry-over — other than the Heat having their way with the Cavs for most of the night.
When James went to the bench in the third, Wayne Ellington hit a pair of 3-pointers and the Heat closed the quarter with a 20-5 run to take an 89-71 lead into the fourth.
Cleveland got back in it with three straight 3-pointers, but didn’t have enough to down the stretch as the Heat held on.
Heat: Dropped 16 3s after making a season-high 18 on Saturday. … F Luke Babbitt did not play after the first quarter because of back spasms. … F James Johnson and G Tyler Johnson sat out with injuries. James Johnson needed four stitches Saturday when he elbowed Cleveland’s Iman Shumpert in the mouth. Shumpert’s front teeth were chipped. Coach Erik Spoelstra said Johnson went through half of the team’s shootaround, but his elbow worsened and the team wants to avoid infection. Tyler Johnson has a sore neck and left shoulder. … Miami came in allowing a league-low 23.8 points and 41.7 percent shooting in the fourth quarter.
Cavaliers: Smith may be just days away from his return after missing nearly three months following thumb surgery. He played some 3-on-3 before the game. Kevin Love moved remarkably well while doing agility and shooting drills following the team’s morning shootaround. The All-Star underwent surgery on Feb. 14 and the team estimated he could be out up to six weeks. … Irving has scored at least 20 in 12 consecutive games.
Heat: Host Charlotte on Wednesday to begin a stretch of seven of eight games at home.
Cavaliers: Begin three-game trip at Detroit on Thursday. James sat out the Cavs’ previous visit, a 106-90 loss.
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