In addition to the clanks and bricks, there was a third-quarter
stretch that forced fans to sit through nine fouls in less than
three minutes as poor foul-shooting centers DeAndre Jordan
(Clippers) and Hassan Whiteside (Heat) were hacked intentionally.
But as hideous as this game was at times, it was beautiful for the
Clippers in the end as they defeated the Heat 100-93 on Sunday
afternoon at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Paul rallied to score a game-high 22 points, making a pair of
three-pointers and a layup in the final two-plus minutes to break
open a close game.
"I just kept shooting -- it had to go in sooner or later, right?"
said Paul, who made 8-of-23 shots from the floor overall. "I kept
aggressive and made a couple of shots finally."
Paul got help from guard Jamal Crawford, who had 20 points off the
bench. Jordan added nine points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, but
he made just 3-of-14 from the foul line.
After the game, the Clippers (34-17, fourth place in the Western
Conference) boarded a flight for Philadelphia, and they planned to
watch the Super Bowl on the plane.
"Watching the Super Bowl is going to be a lot more enjoyable
(because of the win)," said Clippers coach Doc Rivers, whose team
plays the 76ers on Monday. "I didn't think we were going to make it
because of all the 'Hack a DJ (Jordan).' I'm glad we get to see (the
The Heat (29-23), which dropped to fifth place in the Eastern
Conference, is off until Tuesday's home game against the San Antonio
Spurs. That means the Heat had the ability to watch the Super Bowl
at home if they so desired -- but they probably weren't in a great
Three Heat players scored 17 points -- Bosh and guards Dwyane Wade
and Goran Dragic. But Bosh (5-of-17) and Wade (7-of-20) did not have
good shooting days.
"(Jordan) is a (heck) of a defender -- he messes a lot of things
up," said Wade, crediting the Clippers center for at least part of
Miami's shooting woes.
"DeAndre has the ability to switch out on guards. You hear him
talking and yelling (on switches), and it kind of makes you think
for a second about what you want to do."
Whiteside, who matched up against Jordan for much of the game, had
10 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. But Whiteside, who leads
the NBA with 4.0 blocks per game, had no rejections. Whiteside made
4-of-6 on free throws.
The Clippers improved to 17-9 away from home, trailing only the
Golden State Warriors (23-4) for the best road record in the NBA.
Overall, the Clippers have won 17 of their past 21 games, all
without star forward Blake Griffin.
"We're just trying to hold it down until our big fella is back,"
Paul said, referring to Griffin.
[to top of second column]
Miami shot just 39.8 percent from the floor.
"It was tough to get clean, open looks," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra
said. "The pace was slow -- their defense was set virtually every
Los Angeles started slowly, missing 14 straight attempts in one
first-quarter stretch that lasted nearly nine minutes. Los Angeles
shot 24 percent for the quarter and trailed 19-15.
"We had struggles of our own," Wade said when asked why Miami didn't
extend its lead further. "They're a good defensive team. Even though
they were missing shots, they didn't let us go up 30-8."
By the second quarter, the Clippers had changed momentum, and they
took a 46-45 lead into halftime despite getting outrebounded 32-17.
The Clippers extended their lead to 73-65 after the third quarter.
The quarter featured a four-point play by Deng after he was fouled
by forward Paul Pierce on a three-point shot.
But that was one of the few highlights for Miami.
"Credit their defense," Spoelstra said of the Clippers. "Yes, there
were open shots we missed. But (the Clippers) did a great job of
protecting the paint."
NOTES: Clippers backup PG Pablo Prigioni, who took a shot to the jaw
in Friday's game at the Orlando Magic, returned to action off the
bench and had two points in 14 minutes. ... The Clippers, who lead
the NBA in being called for technical fouls, were whistled again.
This time, G Jamal Crawford was called. ... Clippers G Austin
Rivers, who got hurt Friday at Orlando, was diagnosed with a broken
left hand and will be out four-to-six weeks. ... Rivers is the
second Clippers player out with a broken hand. Star F Blake Griffin,
injured on Jan. 23 in an off-the-court incident, is expected back in
April. ... Miami C Hassan Whiteside, who had been a starter until he
got hurt and missed six games, came off the bench for the third
straight time. Amar'e Stoudemire has replaced him as the starting
center. ... In eight games without Whiteside this season, Miami has
allowed 99.5 points. With Whiteside in the rotation, Miami has
allowed 95.0 points.
[© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2016 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.