CLIPPERS SUMMER LEAGUE: GAME 2 RECAP

Eric Patten, Clippers.com

7/14/14

LAS VEGAS – Midway through the third quarter of the Clippers’ 91-85 victory over the Miami Heat in the second game of the Las Vegas Summer League, rookie Amath M’Baye caught an alley-oop along the baseline and threw down his second spectacular dunk of the night.

The lob gave the Clippers an 11-point lead, their biggest of the first six-plus quarters this summer. The Heat quickly regained the lead with a 17-0 run after M’Baye left the game, a drought that was ended by Delonte West on the first possession of the fourth quarter.

But the Clippers prevailed thanks in large part to rookie free agent Amath M’Baye, who scored a game-high 27 points, and point guard Lorenzo Brown.

The Clippers overcame Miami’s third-quarter run to teeter-totter with the Heat for the lead in the final minutes. M’Baye’s dunk that put L.A. up by two was answered by Shabazz Napier’s 3-pointer. Brown converted two free throws to give the Clippers an 83-82 lead with 2:03 left and his 3-pointer a possession later made it 86-82.

Still, Napier, who scored just two points in the first three quarters, answered with a 3-point play before Brown hit a jumper on the other end and a pair of foul shots to effectively put the game away with 18.5 seconds remaining.

Brown, the former Philadelphia 76er, had nine points in a row to close the game, and finished with 22 for the game.

THREE TAKEAWAYS

- Small ball. Following their opening game loss, Summer League coach Brendan O’Connor said he would use a few lineup variations to get players playing time that may not have had it on Saturday. The primary beneficiary was guard/forward DeAndre Liggins, who was used sparingly against the Bulls, but was in the starting lineup Monday. The small-ball lineup opened the floor up and helped the Clippers have a little more offensive continuity. Of course, that was to be expected no matter what with a group so unfamiliar with one another. They shot 52.5 percent from the floor and had nine players make at least one field goal.

- Fouls aplenty. The Heat and Clippers committed 65 fouls in the game, including 47 in the first half. Forty Seven. The frequent whistles disrupted much of the game’s flow. It lasted nearly two hours, causing the night’s final game between Milwaukee and Utah into a delayed start time.

Foul play: Liggins committed three fouls and drew a technical in the first 7:21. He and M’Baye combined for 13 of the Clippers’ 36 fouls. Three players on the Heat had at least five fouls.

- M’Baye, again. O’Connor hustled to center court after M’Baye intercepted pass in the final seconds of the first half and as the buzzer sounded patted him on the chest and repeatedly said, ‘Good job.’ M’Baye’s night was more than that. He had two spectacular dunks, as mentioned earlier, and was seemingly in the middle of everything. He finished with two steals, four rebounds and two assists in addition to his 27 points.

M’Baye’s two-game totals: 20.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 14-23 (.609), FG, 4-8 (.500) 3PT, 9-10 (.900) FT

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT

Delonte West: “Lorenzo is a little wiser beyond his age and he gives good tempo. Getting started and getting a good flow for us, he just took the show from there.”

O’CONNOR’S TAKE

“When you’re going through the stuff in training camp, the first game is always going to be tough because as much as you go over and over and over it, it’s not live defense. Even against your own team it’s not live defense.

“We talked about just slowing things down. The other thing was that our defense was better and that allowed us to get out and push the ball a little bit more and made it easier offensively.”

NOTES

Delonte West scored 12 points, including a twisting 3-point play on the second possession of the game, and had eight rebounds and five assists… Napier had eight points for Miami… The Clippers are 1-1 in Summer League play with one game remaining in before tournament play starts…