HEAT 121 - Clippers 98 Game Recap

Photo Credit: Adam Pantozzi
by Joe Beguiristain
HEAT.com

The Miami HEAT defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 121-98 Saturday night at Staples Center. Dwyane Wade led the way for the HEAT with 25 points.

1. Winslow Balls Out Again

With Goran Dragić out on the second night of a back-to-back, Justise Winslow answered the call and fared very well as Miami’s primary ball handler.

In fact, the 22-year-old Winslow led the HEAT with a career-high nine assists, including this great no-look bounce pass to Bam Adebayo for a HUGE JAM in the fourth quarter:

That wasn’t all though, as Winslow finished plays at the rim, knocked down a three and also hit this smooth mid-range jumper in the pick-and-roll with Adebayo:

Furthermore, the forward executed Miami’s zone defense very well whenever the team went to that.

In all, the former Duke Blue Devil tallied 21 points, six rebounds, two steals and a game-high plus-28 rating to go along with his career-high nine assists.

2. Wade Catches Fire From Deep

It’s so fitting that Wade led the HEAT in scoring in his 1000th career game, isn’t it?

From the moment he checked into the game, Wade found the range from deep and scored 16 points in the first half thanks to four treys. And while the bulk of his field goals came from beyond the arc, he also had this nifty left-handed finish in the fourth quarter:

In addition to his game-high 25 points on 8-of-21 shooting, including 5-of-10 from downtown, Wade also recorded six rebounds, six assists, one steal and one block.

3. JJ On The Attack

From the opening tip, James Johnson was ultra aggressive and got to the basket with relative ease. After a quick start to the game, JJ carried over his sharp play into the third quarter with eight points on 4-of-5 shooting in the period, including this coast-to-coast finish in transition:

When it was all said and done, Johnson scored 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting, grabbed eight boards and dished out three assists.

Other Takeaways:

-Derrick Jones Jr. brought energy and effort as usual and led Miami with a career-high 11 rebounds, five of which came on the offensive glass.

Oh yeah, he also came through with this fantastic follow dunk late in the second quarter:

Jones Jr. ended up with seven points and a team-high two blocks to go along with those aforementioned 11 boards.

Game Notes:

-Tyler Johnson exited the game in the first quarter with a left hip contusion and did not return.

-Dion Waiters (Left Ankle Surgery), Wayne Ellington (Personal Reasons), Duncan Robinson (Sioux Falls Assignment) and Yante Maten (Sioux Falls Assignment) did not travel with the team and were inactive.

-Hassan Whiteside (Personal Reasons - expecting birth of his first child) also did not travel with the team, but was an active scratch. Goran Dragić and Josh Richardson (Right Shoulder Impingement) were active scratches as well.

Looking Ahead:

-Up next for the HEAT are the Lakers on Monday night at 10:30 PM. Miami’s next home tilt won’t be until Thursday, Dec. 20 versus the Rockets. Tickets for that game at AmericanAirlines Arena can be found here.

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