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Griffin and Paul returned after Miami cut its deficit to 104-93 with 3:47 remaining. But it was only for insurance as the Heat failed to make a serious run in the closing minutes.
Miami led 54-52 at halftime. James wasted no time asserting himself with a driving dunk 12 seconds into the game. The Clippers answered with eight straight points, the biggest run either team managed in the half.
Both teams put on a riveting display of dunks, 3-point shooting and power moves. The crowd cheered when Bledsoe blocked Wade on his way to the basket and then Norris Cole airballed a 3-pointer after the Heat recovered the ball.
NOTES: Wade hurt his foot in the third quarter of Monday's game at Houston when he stepped on teammate Chris Bosh. Wade stumbled out of bounds in the fourth quarter and went down after getting caught on one of the referees. ... Crawford has 164 points off the bench, making him the highest scoring reserve in the league this season. ... The Heat is 13-12 on the road all-time against the Clippers. ... The teams meet once more this season in Miami.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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