Blake Griffin was an animal on Wednesday night as he tallied a season-high of 43 points. However, the quick lead that the Heat got off to, along with LeBron James’ 31, made for too much ground that the Clippers were unable to make up. The end result was a 116-112 Heat win, in a battle between Eastern and Western powerhouses. Both of these teams expect to be there in the thick of things come playoff time, which we could see with their performance on Wednesday night.
The Heat were scorching hot on Wednesday, as they shot 52% from the field. Part of that performance included a run in the first half that at one point had them up 43-24 in the second quarter. They also opened the third quarter on an 11-5 run that again had the Clippers struggling to keep up. Another key note was that Miami was able to tally an assist on 17 of their first 18 plays, which opened up the court for the type of fast-paced tempo that LeBron and company enjoy.
Despite both of those huge runs, the Clippers were able to stick around with the performance from Griffin, as well as 31 points from Jamaal Crawford, 16 from DeAndre Jordan and 12 from Matt Barnes. In the fourth quarter the Clippers were even able to hold the Heat to just two field goals for the first seven minutes, at which point the game was as close as 99-95. However, LeBron reentered the game and hit a 3 and a layup for another five point swing.
The Clippers have lost their last two, both of which were heartbreakers. Aside from the loss to Miami, they also lost on a buzzer beater against the Nuggets on Monday night. Nonetheless, they sit at 34-18 on the year and in fourth place in the West. Part of that record includes a 20-4 home stand, which is where they’ll play their next four games. That time at home will be without Chris Paul, but the Clippers have gone 11-6 since their All Star point guard went down.
The Heat look to continue trying to keep pace with the Pacers. Even with their current win streak, the Heat still remain three games back on Indiana. Despite that, the Heat remain 2/1 favorites and the top team for odds to win the NBA Championship.
The Clippers currently sit at 18/1 favorites, which is tied with Golden State for third in terms of teams from the West.
The Clippers will play the Raptors next, and the Heat will head to Utah.
Flagrant Fouls: 1 MIAMI ( Oden 1 )
Technical Fouls: PLAYERS: 1 MIAMI ( James 1 ) – TEAMS: None – COACHES: 1 LACLIPPERS ( D Rivers 1 )
Officials: Bill Kennedy, Gary Zielinski, Leon Wood
Time of Game: 2:49