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Love sparkles as Cavaliers eclipse Heat in Rio

Kevin Love scored a game-high 25 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Miami Heat 122-119 in overtime in an NBA pre-season game here.

The Heat recovered from a 20-point deficit to tie the game 105 apiece at the end of regulation play at Rio’s HSBC Arena Saturday night, reports Xinhua. In a dramatic finale, Miami’s Shabazz Napier missed consecutive three-point attempts after Joe Harris netted twice from the free-throw line with seconds remaining.

Chris Bosh top-scored for the Heat with 19 points while LeBron James finished with seven in a 20-minute cameo for the Cavs against his former team.

The result extends the Cavaliers’ pre-season record to 2-0 while Miami have lost each of their opening three warmup matches. Despite the presence of superstars LeBron and Love, the crowd favourite was Cleveland’s Brazilian centre Anderson Varejao. 

The 32-year-old, who left Brazil in his teens to pursue an NBA career, admitted he fought back tears on the court.

‘It was an incredible experience, an unbelievable atmosphere,’ Varejao said in a television interview after the match. 
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