Heat End Clippers’ Five-Game Win Streak
Miami 118, L.A. Clippers 114
MIAMI, Jan. 30 (Ticker) -- A game that featured frontcourt stars Shaquille O'Neal and Elton Brand came down to the efforts of several perimeter talents.
Dwyane Wade collected 28 points and 11 assists while Gary Payton and James Posey each made five 3-pointers as the Miami Heat pulled out a thrilling 118-114 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, who had a five-game winning streak snapped.
"Everybody shared the wealth," Payton said. "It's something we have to take to the next level to when we go from 10 games over .500 to 15 games over .500 to 20 games over .500. We have to make a statement that we are more than a two-man team."
The game came down to the stellar shooting of Payton and Posey. The 38-year-old Payton connected from the arc to give Miami a 108-104 lead with 3:01 left.
"Gary made some real big shots for us down the stretch, and with JP (Posey) coming through for us, it's big in a game like this," Wade said. "You get that kind of balance against a good team like the Clippers and good things are going to happen."
Sam Cassell responded for Los Angeles by scoring the next five points to give his team a 109-108 edge with 2:15 to go. But Miami reclaimed the lead for good when O'Neal hit a pair of free throws and Posey drilled a 3-pointer from the left corner to make it 113-109 with 1:38 remaining.
"That was a big shot; a good shot at the right time," Cassell said. "We have to do a better job of executing our game plan in that situation."
"It felt good leaving my hands," he said. "I just wanted to be in a position so that if they got the ball to me I could make the play."
Brand said the Clippers could have prevented the play from happening.
"We didn't make the right rotation and paid dearly for it," Brand said. "We had ample opportunities to come back all the way from that terrible start. We kept fighting."
Rookie James Singleton's first 3-pointer of the season pulled the Clippers eventually within 115-114 with 8.9 seconds remaining. But Cuttino Mobley, who had 28 points and 11 assists, committed a foul before the inbounds pass, giving the Heat a free throw and possession.
"Just being aggressive, maybe overly aggressive," Mobley said. "The game is on the line and you're just trying to make a play."
Haslem buried the foul shot before Wade was fouled on the ensuing possesion and made his two free throws to ice the game.
"It was a barnburner with two teams that just shot the ball well," Miami coach Pat Riley said. "Both teams were very aggressive."
Wade 11 points in the first quarter, when the Heat led by as many as 15 points. The Clippers clawed their way back in the second quarter thanks to a 19-4 burst to knot it, 44-44, with 8 1/2 minutes left in the first half.
Los Angeles did not take its first lead until Mobley's jumper made it 70-69 with nine minutes to go in the third quarter. The lead swelled to as much as 84-78 on a 3-pointer by Mobley at the three-minute mark.
Miami responded with a 16-5 surge capped by O'Neal's short jumper that opened a 94-89 advantage.
"(The Heat) came out and jumped on us early and then our guys did a nice job of settling in and doing a better job of executing," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "Coming down the stretch it came down to finishing some plays, which they were able to do and we weren't."