Notebook: Clippers 107, Heat 100



Posted Nov 15, 2012 9:19 AM

By Dan Arritt, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: Like a medal-winning 400-meter relay team, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul started the run for the Clippers, but then Jamal Crawford and Eric Bledsoe took the baton and finished off the defending NBA champions. Griffin carried L.A. through the first half Wednesday night, Paul dominated the final minutes of the third quarter and Crawford and Bledsoe finished off the Heat in the fourth, leading the Clippers to a 107-100 victory at Staples Center.

QUOTABLE: "It's a nice win for us, but we have to have the mindset of getting better."

--Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro

THE STAT: The Clippers have won five consecutive games against the Heat at home, the last three with LeBron James on the floor. They're 10-2 overall against Miami at Staples Center since 2001-02.

TURNING POINT: After 13 ties and 14 lead changes during the first half, Paul sparked an 11-2 run to finish the third quarter, giving L.A. its biggest lead, 85-74. He scored 13 points in the final 3:21 of the period. Bledsoe subbed for Paul at the start of the fourth and scored all the points in an 8-0 run to push the lead to 93-76. Crawford came back with eight points after that to keep Miami at a distance.

HOT: Crawford came off the bench to lead the Clippers in scoring for the fifth time this season. He scored 22 points on 7-for-11 shooting. Griffin scored 13 of his 20 points in the first half and collected a season-high 14 rebounds. Paul had 16 points, 10 assists and four steals for his fifth double-double this season. Rashard Lewis continues to have a hot hand from 3-point distance for the Heat. He came into the game 10-for-20 from beyond the arc and sank all three attempts against the Clippers.

NOT: Heat guard Dwyane Wade was questionable coming into the game with a sprained left foot, but gave it a try against L.A. He struggled all night. Wade committed three of his five turnovers in the opening quarter and finished 2-for-10 from the field for a season-low six points. He's 13-for-43 in his last three games (30.2 percent).

GOOD MOVE: Perhaps the worst part of Wade's night was when Bledsoe flew in to block his breakaway slam dunk attempt early in the second quarter. The replay was shown several times on ESPN and about a dozen more on the big screen inside the arena.

BAD MOVE: The Heat have a game Thursday night in Denver, but that didn't keep coach Erik Spoelstra from playing James the entire third quarter and the first 9 ½ minutes of the fourth. Even with the Heat down by 20 points with 5 ½ minutes left in the game, James was still on the floor. To his credit, he helped cut the deficit to 11 with 3:47 remaining, causing the Clippers to reinsert Paul and Griffin. Spoelstra finally waved the white flag and took James out with 2:30 left and the Heat trailing by 14.

QUOTABLE II: "We view them as legit contenders for the title."

-- Spoelstra on the Clippers

NOTABLE: James did not have a rebound in the first half. He finished with 30 points, seven assists and five rebounds. ... Heading into game, Clippers forward Caron Butler had scored 67 of his 74 points this season during the first and third quarters. He had eight of his 15 points in the second quarter against the Heat. ... L.A.'s lowest margin of victory through the first seven games was nine points and that included the only losses handed to the Spurs and Grizzlies this season. ... The Clippers came into the game second in the NBA in bench scoring at 40.9 points a game. The reserves combined for 41 against the Heat.

UP NEXT: For the Clippers, Saturday vs. Chicago, Monday @ San Antonio Wednesday @ Oklahoma City. For the Heat, Thursday @ Denver, Saturday @ Phoenix, Wednesday vs. Milwaukee.