Game #52 | February 5, 2014
Staples Center | Los Angeles, CA

  • 116

  • 112

- TOP PERFORMERS -


POINTS REBOUNDS ASSISTS STEALS BLOCKS
43 16 9 3 1
COMPLETE GAME INFORMATION | GAME NOTES
 

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36

26

27

27

116

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24

31

20

37

112


RECAP

LOS ANGELES – Even with the Clippers missing their starting backcourt, Wednesday night’s matchup with the defending champions was billed as a big game.
And it felt like it.

The short-handed Clippers overcame three separate double-digit deficits and despite visible exhaustion late in the fourth quarter gave themselves a chance.

Jamal Crawford’s pull up jumper with 1:04 to go shaved Miami’s lead to two and the Clippers appeared to have stopped the Heat on the ensuing possession until Dwyane Wade found Ray Allen in the left corner for a 3-pointer as the shot clock was near expiring to give the Heat a five-point lead and effectively put the game away.

The Heat won, 116-112, on the opening game of a six-game road trip through the Western Conference.

It was the second heart-wrenching loss in a row for the Clippers (34-18). They lost on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer on Monday in Denver and had their seven-game home winning streak snapped by Miami (35-13) two nights later. And it came on a night they played without Chris Paul, who missed his 17th consecutive game with a separated shoulder, and J.J. Redick, who sat out with a sore right hip.

They fought for every loose ball, every rebound, and got a season-high 43 points with 15 rebounds and six assists from Blake Griffin and 31 points from Crawford, who started in place of Redick. DeAndre Jordan added 16 points and 16 rebounds and Matt Barnes had 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

“There are no moral victories, but I love the way our guys fought,” Griffin said. “I couldn’t be more proud of how everybody stuck in there twice, really.”

The Heat led by as many as 19 points, and again by 17 in the second half, and made 15 of their first 18 shots. But the Clippers nearly came all the way back, due for the most part to Crawford and Griffin combining for 74 of their 112 points.

“Blake, Jamal, they all played extremely hard,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said. “That’s what you want your players to do and it’s a human game and sometimes you don’t play perfect and sometimes you make mistakes and it’s my job to point the mistakes out to them.”

The Clippers committed 20 turnovers against the league’s deadliest team in terms of scoring off opponent’s mistakes and shot 43 percent for the game. But a 52-31 rebounding edge, including 29 second-chance points kept them alive.

Overall, it was breathtaking 48 minutes. There were a season’s worth of highlights. LeBron James, who had 31 points, 12 assists and eight boards, chased down Darren Collison to swat away layup off the backboard and had several fast-break dunks. But the reigning MVP’s show was secondary to what Griffin and Crawford combined for. The duo connected on multiple alley-oops with perhaps the best coming with 5:49 to go when Crawford lasered a pass to Griffin at the front of a rim for lob out of a half-court set that made it 99-95.

“I can kind of read him,” Crawford said of his connection with Griffin. “We read each other and tell each other it’s time to be more aggressive. We’re just playing off each other.”

But as close as they came, the Clippers had too many miscues to catch Miami. The teams effectively traded points for much of the remainder of the game. After James threw an errant pass to Wade and Crawford’s pull-up jumper made it 109-107, but Allen’s shot over Crawford’s outstretched arms put the Heat up 112-107 with 41 seconds to go.

Griffin made a last-ditch 3-pointer 31 seconds later and after Chris Bosh missed the second of two foul shots, Griffin sprinted the length of the floor and narrowly missed another 3-pointer that would have made it 116-115.

NOTES

The Clippers went 31-of-42 from the foul line, including 4-for-5 from Jordan… Jordan 10 or more rebounds for the 29th consecutive game. That’s the most in franchise history since Swen Nater in 1978… The loss ended a five-game home winning streak against the Heat for the Clippers… Wade went 5-for-8 with 14 points and eight assists. He played point guard for most of the final six minutes after Mario Chalmers left the game with five fouls… Miami went 13-for-31 (41.9 percent) from 3-point range, including four makes from Shane Battier and three from James… It is only the third time this season the Clippers have lost, and first at home, when scoring 109 points or more… Miami’s bench outscored the Clippers’ 32-5… All five Clippers starters played at least 38 minutes, including Crawford, who was on the floor for a season-high 46:38… Hedo Turkoglu sustained a bruised right knee in the first half…

QUOTES

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

RE: 4th quarter run

“I thought it was nice. I told our guys when they went up by 18, I said „Guys, we‟ve done this before, we did it in the first half.‟ We were down by 17 then and cut the lead. There are no moral victories. I told our guys I‟m very happy at the fight that we had. We had so many chances to just let go of the rope during the game, and I thought we kept fighting, which in the long run [is] going to be good for our team. It says a lot about our team. We‟ve come back and won some of these games and almost did it tonight. I just thought we had too many mistakes, like the 21 turnovers, against Miami”


CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

RE: Half-court defense

“I didn‟t see a lot of [half-court defense]. It wasn‟t good today, at all. No part of our defense was great today. They beat us off the dribble a lot, which Miami does. Even the three at the end, we cut it to two and let a guy sneak behind us. And what I told them after the game about that is I‟m glad it happened. Now you know, because when you talk about execution, especially at the end of a game, I think teams and players sometimes think you only mean offensive execution, defensive execution is actually more important.”

CLIPPERS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

RE: Adjusting to high-scoring games

“That‟s not an adjustment at all. I thought that we could get into a transition game, and open-the-floor game. I anticipated that they would go small at some point, and with an open floor game we could really take advantage of Blake on the post. And it really didn‟t happen, but we kept turning it over when we had advantages. We turned it over when we had three-on-twos, three-on-ones. Those are tough turnovers.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN

RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s game

“I thought we had too many turnovers, and I thought we were constantly fighting uphill against them; and you can‟t do that to a team like that. But, at the same time, there are no moral victories, but I loved the way that our guys fought. I couldn‟t be more proud of how everybody stuck in there and gutted it out. Twice, really… or we felt like it was twice; coming back from 15, 16-plus point deficits and believing in each other.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN

RE: Defensive assignment on LeBron James

“[We discussed the assignment] this morning before shootaround .It was actually T-Lue, Tyronn Lue. He just said… I guarded him a couple times when we played them [the Heat] in Miami. We didn‟t want him [LeBron James] with J.J. [Redick] hurting, we didn‟t want him [LeBron James] to post J.J. And then, unfortunately, J.J. couldn‟t go; but we just kind of kept it, because we had gone through shootaround like that. I welcomed it.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD BLAKE GRIFFIN

RE: Game plan

“They [the Miami Heat] are a team that we wanted to put pressure on the whole game, and unfortunately, we couldn‟t do that. But, you have to take a step back and look at the kind of team they are. They‟ve been through some of the most adversity a team might have gone through as far as the hate that they‟ve received, I guess. They‟ve been through the fire, and the thing about them is that they stayed calm throughout the whole game, and that‟s a sign of maturity as a team, I guess.”

CLIPPERS GUARD JAMAL CRAWFORD

RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s game

“I think right now, the adrenaline is still going, so we [Blake Griffin and I] are alright. But I‟m sure I‟m sure we‟ll feel it. No excuses. Like Blake [Griffin] said, we put ourselves in a hole twice. We were down 19 in the first half and then down I think 17 with 16 minutes to go in the game. So, you can‟t do that against a team like that. We obviously turned the ball over too much. But, we‟ll take the good from it and continue to get better.”

CLIPPERS GUARD JAMAL CRAWFORD

RE: Team’s progress defensively

“I think that it‟s a process. For them [Miami], I‟m not sure they got it this early as well. Teams like Boston, when they won in ‟08, they got it immediately. Some teams do and some teams don‟t. For us… missing J.J [Redick] for a month and a half; missing Chris [Paul] for a month; we‟ve pretty much been under-manned the whole year considering everything we‟re going through… half a new team, a new coaching staff. So, we‟ll get it. As long as we‟re playing well at the right time and continue to build that trust.”

CLIPPERS GUARD JAMAL CRAWFORD

RE: Play of Blake Griffin

“Honestly…I‟m just going to put it out there, and I‟d tell you this if he weren‟t sitting there; Blake [Griffin] is playing at an MVP level. Honestly, if you look at it I know [Kevin] Durant gets a lot of attention; and it‟s as well deserved as LeBron [James], obviously… LaMarcus [Aldridge]. But he [Blake Griffin] is playing just as good as anybody in the NBA. To accept the leadership [role] like he has, I think it‟s almost been a blessing to be kind of under-manned; because he‟s really stepped up his growth and his leadership, and he‟s just been amazing. So, for us, I can kind of read him. We read each other. He tells me, „It‟s time to be aggressive from you.‟ and vice-versa. We‟re just playing off of each other, trying to get as many wins as possible.”

CLIPPERS GUARD JARED DUDLEY

RE: Playing against an older team

“It shows that we are young. We were riding Blake [Griffin]‟s back a lot for someone who is dominating that game. I just think that when you get down by 18 or by 16, when all your energy gets back, you have to play perfect for the last three, four minutes in and we did for the most part and that‟s when Ray Allen‟s three was kind of a dagger.”

CLIPPERS GUARD JARED DUDLEY

RE: Blake’s performance

“He‟s seemed more aggressive. He definitely developed his game where he‟s going coast-to-coast and his free-throw shooting is making it pop, going over the right shoulder with a left hand hook. He definitely developed that since I‟ve been here so I don‟t know beforehand how he had that, but he is one of the best
players in the NBA and we need him and we‟ve been picking up so much more of the focus especially with CP [Chris Paul] out. Now when CP gets back it‟s definitely that we‟re even going to be scarier.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD MATT BARNES

RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s game

“It was tough. I think we showed some resiliency. There are no moral victories but I think we were down numerous times, double digits and we fought back. You know, we made it a good game. We‟re shorthanded. A lot of teams are shorthanded, but we‟ve got to do a better job of protecting home court.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD MATT BARNES

RE: Blake Griffin’s performance tonight

“Blake [Griffin] was amazing out there, [he] took the challenge, met the challenge and carried us tonight.”

CLIPPERS FORWARD MATT BARNES

RE: Play of Blake Griffin

“He‟s our go to. Chris [Paul] knows that. Everybody knows that. I think he‟s just under so much scrutiny out here when people forget he‟s 24, 23; he‟s still a baby. He‟s growing game-by-game and he‟s one of our leaders and he does a good job at being a leader.”

CLIPPERS CENTER DEANDRE JORDAN

RE: Overall thoughts on tonight’s game

“I‟m just happy with the fight that we had, being down early, we could have given up so many times but we kept fighting, we kept getting stops and we had it, we were down two. We know if we continue to fight like that, we‟ll come out with better starts, and then we‟ll be alright.”

CLIPPERS CENTER DEANDRE JORDAN

RE: Overall thoughts on team’s trust on defense

“I feel that we are getting better. We‟ve still got some new guys on our team and everybody is still trying to learn each other‟s game and defensive rotations. Other than that, I feel like our trust is getting a better and it could only get better as the season goes on.”

HEAT HEAD COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA

RE: Overall thoughts on the game

“The number one thing we talked about was having emotional stability: doing it together on the road and staying the course. We gave up virtually everything you can‟t give up, just in terms of the volleyball plays, the second-chance opportunities, the block-outs or lack of block-outs, lack of second efforts on that, fouling too much. But we found a way. In the second half we made enough plays, and that‟s what it‟s about on the road, ultimately.”

HEAT HEAD COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA

RE: Ray Allen’s late fourth-quarter three-point shot

“A little bit of a broken play. We had been running a little bit of an action to try to get some different matchups to take advantage of, the switches. They switched, and Dwyane [Wade] was able to drive. Because they had switched and handed off so many things, sometimes, defensively, you lose sight of guys on the weak side, and that‟s what happened. Dwyane [Wade] drove into the paint and was able to find Ray [Allen] with a great pass, and Ray [Allen] did what he does in the fourth quarter as well as anybody in this league.”

HEAT HEAD COACH ERIK SPOELSTRA

RE: LeBron James’ defensive effort

“LJ [LeBron James] displayed his entire arsenal defensively tonight. Guarding one-through-five, on the glass, in the post, on the perimeter, and even had one of his famous chase-down blocks, one that most players would give up on.”

HEAT FORWARD LEBRON JAMES

RE: Overall thoughts on the game

“It was two well-coached teams. Obviously we‟ve had our battles with Doc [Rivers] in the Eastern Conference for so long; we know how well his team is going to be prepared, and we always prepare ourselves. So it was a great showing by both teams.”

HEAT FORWARD LEBRON JAMES

RE: Personal defensive performance

“That‟s why I should be Defensive Player of the Year. One-through-five. Started off on DeAndre [Jordan], guarded Darren Collison that one possession, so you know. No one has ever done this before. That‟s why I‟m sitting here with nine bags of ice.”

HEAT GUARD DWYANE WADE

RE: Blake Griffin’s performance

“With Chris [Paul] being out, [Blake Griffin] has taken it upon himself to be the leader of this team. He‟s really putting his game together, playing a lot of minutes, getting the ball a lot, having to do a lot, and he‟s really stepping up.”

HEAT GUARD DWYANE WADE

RE: Comparing Doc Rivers’ Clippers to his old Boston Celtics teams

“Talent-wise, this [Clippers team] is probably going to be his most talented team. As the season goes on, from the first time we played them until now, even without Chris Paul, you can see that Doc Rivers is a heck of a coach when it comes to his offensive packages. You see a guy like Blake Griffin blossom under Doc Rivers, with what he‟s able to put around him. His team is still becoming a good defensive team, with DeAndre Jordan down there clogging the paint. So this is, I think, his most talented team, and as time goes they‟ll get even better as they get more comfortable with the system.”

HEAT CENTER CHRIS BOSH

RE: The toughness of tonight’s game

“It‟s exactly what we need. Nobody said it‟s ever going to be easy, getting back on track on the road. There are never easy wins on the road. I‟m sure Coach [Eric Spoelstra] mentioned emotions, just staying with it, being mentally strong, and just making sure we‟re doing what we‟re supposed to do, no matter what happens.”

HEAT FORWARD SHANE BATTIER

RE: LeBron James’ late fourth-quarter drawn charge

“There‟s not too many things I can teach LeBron James. But hopefully over the last two-and-a-half years I‟ve been with him, I‟ve given him a little charge-taking mojo through osmosis. So I‟m taking credit for that play.”

VIDEO

CROWN ROYAL SHOT OF THE GAME

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