Lebrun James and members of the Heat were in position near the midcourt line and ready for tip-off in Quicken Loans Arena when a large pool of liquid and some debris were discovered. As ball boys and arena workers used towels and mops to clean up the area, a referee went to the official scorer's table with something in his hand.
Both teams were sent to their locker rooms during the delay, and the near-capacity crowd was entertained with music and giveaways.
After the problem was fixed, the teams had a five-minute warmup period before the game began at 7:45 p.m.
The Heat are trying to win their 24th consecutive game and extend the second-longest winning streak in NBA history.