Clippers Cool the HEAT
By: Matt Pineda
The HEAT were fortunate to get off to a good start against the Clippers. Two nights off their creative win against the Rockets, led by LeBron’s 38 points, they faced the Clippers in the first of a back-to-back ending in Denver.
The first half was filled with a bunch of three pointers and a bunch of turnovers. Both teams struggled to take care of the ball and combined for 24 turnovers in the first half. Miami hit 7 three-pointers and L.A. knocked in 5 led by Jamal Crawford. Wade and Bosh both struggled to find their shot in the first half as well.
The Clippers began to pull away in the third quarter led by Blake Griffin and Willie Green. But Miami hung close by and had the led down to 2. Miami gave up the game in just a matter of minutes thanks to Chris Paul. Paul knocked down a 30 footer with shot clock winding down and then another 3 on the next possession. Paul helped the Clippers win the quarter by 13 points, and Miami would have a difficult time recovering from that on the road.
The fourth quarter didn’t get much better. Even with Paul on the bench, the Clippers pushed their lead to 19 points with 8 minutes to go. Spoelstra pleaded with the team from the bench, saying, “Don’t even think about letting this one go, you have to fight for it.” But the penetration by the Clippers was met by little resistance from the rim by the HEAT.
LeBron made a late push to get the game closer in the last 6 minutes with a rotation of reserves with him. But with Miami in the penalty for the last 8 minutes of the quarter, they had to be perfect, and they weren’t. Ray Allen played a decent game and had 14 points and 5 steals.
The Clippers won the game 107-100 as the HEAT fell to 6-3 on the season.
Game MVP: Jamal Crawford
He isn’t the centerpiece of the Clippers offense, but he always kills Miami. He was constantly attacking and knocking down shots for his team. He led them with 22 points on 7-10 shooting.
Tough Game: Dwyane Wade
Wade just did not have it tonight. This is becoming more of a recurring thing and that is not good for Miami. Yes, he was coming off a sore foot, but his performance mostly did not help the HEAT. He was 2-10 from the field and had only 6 points, while having 5 turnovers.
Lights Out Performance: LeBron James
Despite the rest of his team struggling, James continues to play tremendous basketball. He played a lot of minutes, but LeBron is getting better as the season goes. The team is so much better when he is on the court. James finished the game with 30 points and 7 assists.
Stat of the Game: 5 rebounds
This was the first time in 6 games that LeBron James did not get a double-double with rebounds.
Next Up: The HEAT will play Thursday night in Denver. The game starts at 10:30 EST and can be seen on TNT.