Any more Eastern Conference upward mobility for the Heat will have to wait, if it happens at all.
With a chance to move past Cleveland into third in the Eastern Conference, the Heat’s effort on Wednesday was valiant but the offense often atrocious in a 91-89 loss.
It was remarkable the Heat was even this competitive on a night Miami shot 3 for 28 on three-pointers, made only 14 of 25 free throws and committed 20 turnovers.
And yet, with the Cavaliers shooting just 35 percent, the Heat led by two in the final minutes before two LeBron James baskets and a James assist for a Jae Crowder three put Cleveland ahead.
With the Heat down 88-87, Tyler Johnson missed a three-pointer with 23 seconds left. With the Heat down two, James Johnson hesitated, initially looking to pass, and couldn’t get off a well-defended short jumper in time before the final buzzer. James defended the play well.
Goran Dragic had 18 points and six assists, Josh Richardson scored 15 and Justise Winslow had some good moments defensively to go with nine points and 10 rebounds.
But on three-pointers, Olynyk (10 points) was 0 for 6, Wayne Ellington 0 for 3 and Tyler Johnson 1 for 7.
LeBron James had 24 points and 11 rebounds, helping overcome a 2 for 15 shooting night from Isaiah Thomas and 2-for-8 night from Dwyane Wade, who had a key late block on Dragic.
Cleveland, playing without injured All-Star Kevin Love, had allowed 114.3 points per game over the past 16 games. But the Heat - which entered 28th in scoring at 100.4 points - had too many empty possessions, shooting 8 for 21 in the fourth quarter with six turnovers.