Heat Spoil Chris Paul’s Return, Blow Past Struggling Clippers
By: Pedro Heizer (@pedroheizer)
In a game in which two divisional leaders squared off, it looked as if the Los Angeles Clippers were nothing more than a sideshow.
The Miami Heat dismantled the struggling Clippers 111-89 Friday night at the American Airlines Arena despite missing Chris Bosh and Ray Allen, who were both out with the flu.
LeBron James led the way for Miami with 30 points, six assists, and five rebounds.
The Heat led by as many as 32 in the third quarter. Miami lead 64-54 before going on a blistering 25-3 run which included five threes. That run is about as good as any offensive stretch that you’ll ever see.
Wade, who was also under the weather, finished with 20 points, seven assists, and six rebounds, while Mario Chalmers added 18 on 5-for-9 shooting.
Chris Paul, who has missed 12 of the last 14 games due to injury, finished with just three points on 1-for-5 shooting in 19 minutes.
Paul, who looked like a mere human, never found a rhythm and was badly worked over by Chalmers. His frustrations reached a boiling point when he was called for a Technical in the third quarter for arguing with an official.
DeAndre Jordan led the Clippers with 17 points.
Game MVP: LeBron James
James continued perhaps the best statistical week of his career with another high-percentage shooting night. He has shot 43-for-59 (72.9 percent) from the field in the last four games. He has also tied the franchise record with his fourth straight 30-point game.
Biggest surprise: Rashard Lewis
Lewis perhaps had one of his best games in a Heat uniform adding 10 points to go with his team high seven rebounds on 26 minutes off the bench.
Lights Out Preformer: Heat Perimeter Shooters
The Heat’s perimeter shooters lit up the Clippers’ defense. Miami made 15 three-pointers and was 7-for-12 from the corners. Shane Battier, Mario Chalmers and LeBron James all contributed to the effort. The Heat shoot corner threes more than anyone in the NBA because they’re one of the most efficient shots in basketball. Today’s performance may be a bit of an outlier, but the fact that the Heat shot 12 corner threes is impressive.
Cold Performer: Chris Paul
Yes, he has missed 12 of the last 14 games, looked rusty, and let Mario Chalmers show him up. But he’s Chris Paul, he should at least have more than three points and two assists.