Miami Heat Hold off Los Angeles Clippers’ Third Quarter Surge Winning 110-100

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Starting off the New Year, the Miami Heat improved their record to 20-18 after a 110-100 win against the Los Angeles Clippers (21-18), marking it as the first time this season where they are at least two games above the .500 mark.

The injury report included various rotational players for the Heat with Dewayne Dedmon (health & safety protocols), Nikola Jović (back spasms), and Ömer Yurtseven (ankle). As for the Clippers, they were without Kawhi Leonard who was listed as ill prior to the contest. On a side note, the Heat were able to have both Jimmy Butler and Caleb Martin return to the starting lineup after their hiatuses. 

From the opening tip, the Heat were able to get into a groove offensively with them putting up 34 points in the first quarter while shooting 58% from the field and 33% from three. Defensively speaking they struggled to contain the Clippers as they allowed 28 points stemming from 50% shooting from the field and three respectively. In comparison to that of the first quarter the Heat dominated the second scoring 33 points to the Clippers 21 while they went on a 27-9  run to put the score at 67-49 to close out the half. Furthermore, the Heat outscored the Clippers in the paint 30-16 while holding them to 33% shooting from the field. The standout performances of the first half included Adebayo with 16 points, Tyler Herro with 16 points, and the Clippers’ Ivica Zubac with 8 points. 

Going into the third it would be thought as a safe bet to presume that the Heat would carry over their momentum from the first half and roll over the Clippers. However, the Clippers responded with a detrimental run outscoring the Heat 32-12 to regain the lead for the first time since the opening quarter. During the third quarter, the Heat had their worst shooting splits of the game: 22% from the field and 17% from three while the Clippers caught steam shooting 56% from the field and 50% from three. The Clippers lead did not last long as the Heat opened the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run to regain control of the game. It was from that moment on the Heat essentially ran away with the game as the Clippers had exhausted themselves from that third quarter run.

Adebayo had a great night for the Heat posting 31 points and 14 rebounds while shooting 63% from the field. Other notable Heat performances included Herro with 23 points and 7 rebounds, Oladipo with 15 points, and Max Strus with 13 points. Butler (9) and Kyle Lowry (6) seemed to struggle, combining for only 15 points while shooting 25% (Butler) and 33% (Lowry) from the field.

As for the Clippers, Paul George led the way with 25 points and 7 assists while receiving some assistance with Marcus Morris Sr. adding 14 points and 7 rebounds, Luke Kennard with 11 points, and Zubac with 10 points and 7 rebounds.

What’s Next?

The Miami Heat (20-18) will begin wrapping up their 5 game road trip out west with a rematch with the Los Angeles Lakers (16-21), Wednesday night. Since the last meeting in Miami, the Lakers have gone on a two-game win streak of their own. On the season, the Lakers have the 7th best offense, averaging 116.1 points per game with the 4th worst defense across the league which allows 117.6 points per game. This will surely be another interesting matchup as the last outing brought about rumors of LeBron being disgruntled with the Lakers front office and possibly requesting a trade in the offseason with one of the potential destinations, of course being the Miami Heat. 

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