The Miami Heat used a big comeback to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 124-121 in overtime on Monday.
Miami was down by 11 when the fourth quarter began, but went on a 9-0 run at that point. With roughly eight minutes left in regulation, the Heat tied the score up. Miami would then jump out to the lead and was able to hang in to force overtime. In the extra five minutes, Miami started strong and then battled back and forth with Cleveland the rest of the way.
The Heat were facing elimination, but this rally will allow them to live another day. The Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers both won, which means the Heat remain in ninth place in the Eastern Conference. The Heat will need to win their last game and receive some help to reach the playoffs.
The Heat received some good news before the game and it may have played a role in the comeback. Even though the top seed in the conference remains up for grabs, Cleveland rested LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. The defending champions prioritized rest over a win and nearly ended up with both. The lack of depth on Cleveland's roster may have allowed Miami to storm back in the final portion of the game.
Hassan Whiteside had a slow first half, but ended with a solid line for the game. Whiteside tallied 23 points, 18 rebounds, one assist and two blocks in the win. The center posted double-doubles in nearly every game this season, in what was the first year of his new long-term contract.
James Johnson had a disappointing evening until the fourth quarter, but he ended up being a big reason for the win. Johnson tallied 16 points and nine assists in the victory, with a lot of that work coming towards the end.
Another man who helped in the final minutes of regulation was Wayne Ellington. The reserve used his three-point talents to help Miami win. Ellington ended up going 4-7 on his treys and 12 points overall in the game.
Miami will finish the regular season on Wednesday when it hosts the Wizards at 8:00 p.m.