HEAT 104 - Clippers 101 Game Recap

Photo Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein
by Joe Beguiristain

The Miami HEAT defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 104-101 Sunday afternoon at STAPLES Center. Hassan Whiteside led the way for the HEAT with 21 points and 17 rebounds.

1. Whiteside Dominates

Whiteside sure loves to play the Clippers.

Like he has in previous meetings with the franchise, the 7-footer impacted the game on both ends of the floor. After breaking up three lob attempts in the first half, Whiteside continued his strong defensive play in the third quarter with this great block on Austin Rivers:

That said, his most impactful play on that end came with three seconds left in the game when he forced a miss from Blake Griffin on a jumper that would have put Los Angeles ahead.

A little earlier in the fourth, Whiteside came through with this huge alley-oop to stop the Clippers’ momentum.

As you can see, the big fella did it all. In addition to his team-high 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting and 17 rebounds, Whiteside also accumulated three steals and two blocks.

2. JJ Seals It

With Miami down late in the fourth, James Johnson hit two clutch free throws to put the HEAT up 102-101 with 8.7 seconds left.

Throughout the afternoon, Johnson initiated offense, took advantage of mismatches such as this one…

…and also played great defense on Griffin.

Johnson finished with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting and five assists.

3. Scorching Start For TJ

Tyler Johnson had one heck of a start to the contest, as he scored 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting in the first half. Throughout the first two quarters, Johnson hounded Lou Williams and also took advantage of L.A.’s turnovers with a handful of threes in transition.

As the game progressed, the 25-year-old continued to play good defense, as evident by this steal and score late in the third quarter:

Johnson ended up with 19 points, three assists and three steals.

4. 3llington…Plus A Little More

While Wayne Ellington did his usual damage from downtown and led the team with five made 3-pointers, you’ll never guess what else he did:

In all, Ellington tallied 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting.

Other Takeaways:

-From the opening tip, Josh Richardson was extremely active on the defensive end, as he got his hands in the passing lanes and created a bunch of transition opportunities for the HEAT.

His most impressive sequence came with 2:39 remaining in the fourth when he hit a big 3-pointer and then forced a miss from Griffin on the other end.

Richardson finished with 14 points, four assists, three steals and a team-high plus-15 rating.

-Okaro White competed very well against Griffin and even drew a charge on the 28-year-old in the third. When it was all said and done, White had three points and three boards.

Game Note:

-Dion Waiters (birth of daughter), Rodney McGruder (left tibia surgery), A.J. Hammons (Sioux Falls assignment) and Matt Williams Jr. (Sioux Falls assignment) were inactive.

Looking Ahead:

-The HEAT will get right back to it Monday night against the Golden State Warriors at 10:30 PM. Miami won’t be back in action at the AmericanAirlines Arena until Nov. 15 against the Washington Wizards. Tickets for that game can be found here.

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