The situation became even more desperate for the Heat (34-41) when guard Dwyane Wade suffered a nasty fall that may deliver a knockout punch to Miami’s post-season ambitions.
LeBron James scored 23 points, along with eight rebounds and seven assists against his former team, as Kyrie Irving also scored 23 points and the Cavs (49-27) pounded the Heat in what was a potential play-off series at the start of the game.
Houston rallied late to score a comeback 108-101victory over Dallas at American Airlines Center, taking another step towards locking down the No 2 seed in the tough Western Conference.
Dallas led 72-61 with 5:01 to go in the third quarter and Houston looked to be staring at a defeat until former Mavericks forward Corey Brewer hopped off the bench and changed the flow of the game with his relentless energy.
Brewer scored six points in the third quarter and eight in the fourth to give him 14 points on four-of-eight shooting from the field. He was one of five Rockets players to score in double figures
In the other game of the night, Harrison Barnes hit a running shot with less than a second remaining, to lift the Golden State Warriors to a thrilling 107-106 win over the Phoenix Suns.
Barnes’ big shot came after Eric Bledsoe broke free for a reverse lay-up to put Phoenix ahead with 4.5 seconds to play. Bledsoe’s lay-up followed Stephen Curry’s go-ahead 3-pointer that seemingly put the Warriors up for good.
Instead, it took all 48 minutes for the NBA-leading Warriors (62-13) to extend their latest winning streak to 11 games after falling behind by four in the final minutes and trading scores with the fading Suns (38-38) the rest of the way.