Clippers put an end to Heat's amazing run - NBC Sports

Clippers put an end to Heat's amazing run
Griffin helps snap Miami's 9-game winning streak, 13-game road run
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Clippers forward Blake Griffin scores on a reverse layup in front of Miami's Joel Anthony during the first half Wednesday night.
January 13, 2011, 3:01 am

Energized by the prospect of taking on the Big Three, the Los Angeles Clippers came out attacking and never let up.

Blake Griffin had 24 points and 14 rebounds for his 30th double-double, and the Clippers surprised Miami 111-105 Wednesday night, ending the Heat's 13-game road winning streak.

Eric Gordon added 26 points and Baron Davis had 20 points and nine assists for the Clippers, who led virtually the entire game against the NBA's second-best team. It was just the 13th win of the season for Los Angeles.

"I'm sure they were a lot more hyped up for that Christmas Day game against the Lakers and not us," Griffin said.

"Beat the Heat!" the sellout crowd stood and chanted in the closing seconds.

"It's a good win for us," Davis said in a muted locker room. "It's not like we have done anything. We still have to get a lot better to improve our record."

Dwyane Wade scored 31 points, LeBron James added 27 and Chris Bosh had 26 points and 13 rebounds for the Heat, who had also won nine in a row overall.

"It was too much for us to overcome," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "They absolutely blitzed us to start the game. It looked like we were running in mud."

From the start, the Clippers repelled all of Miami's threats, the most dramatic coming with 6:37 to play.

James sprained his left ankle on a drive to the basket when he got blocked and his momentum carried him out of bounds past the baseline. He hobbled back onto the court wincing while the Heat still had the ball and sank a 3-pointer from the left corner, drawing them within two. After a timeout, James returned to the game.

"There's no damage, I got an X-ray after the game," James said. "The doctor told me it's day-to-day so I'll see how I feel tomorrow. I don't have to be a hero in the regular season if I'm not close to 100 percent."

A 3-pointer by Mario Chalmers again drew the Heat within two, but the Clippers then scored six in a row to lead 103-95 with 4:17 left. Griffin had four points, with Davis sandwiching a fast-break driving layup in between.

With the crowd hanging on every possession, Chalmers and Griffin were called for offsetting technicals when they tangled with 4:32 to go.

A three-point play by James and a 3-pointer by Bosh got the Heat within four, but Gordon calmly made two free throws to seal the stunning win.

"It means a lot," said Gordon, in his second season. "We know we're a really good team. This might be the best win of my career here."

Los Angeles won its third in a row and eighth in its last 11, while notching its 10th home victory nearly halfway through the season.

"It's one win," first-year coach Vinny Del Negro said. "We don't get extra wins for this game. I'm more concerned about the growth of the team. These wins give us confidence but we have another game on Friday."

The Clippers led by 11 early in the third, when Miami twice got within three, mostly by making nine of 10 free throws.

But the Clippers outscored the Heat 8-3 over the final 3:23 to lead 86-78 going into the fourth. Gordon scored four in a row, and rookie Al-Farouq Aminu had the crowd roaring when Eric Bledsoe stole the ball and fed him for a fast-break dunk.

"They jumped on us and we just have to do a better job of imposing our will," Bosh said. "But it's one game. It's very small in the grand scheme of things."

The Clippers outplayed the Heat in the first half, helped by their transition game and the high-energy crowd. Their 44 points in the first quarter, when they shot 77 percent, were a season high and their 68 in the first half tied a season best.

"You can't say we haven't improved," Griffin said. "That first quarter was a thing of beauty. We were playing great basketball and it was a lot of fun."

The Heat's shooting improved to 60 percent in the second quarter, but they trailed by 21 near the start before cutting their deficit to 68-58 at the break.

Los Angeles owned a 24-12 edge in the paint and led by 18 in the opening quarter. Miami's lone lead came when the Heat scored the game's first three points.

Notes: Miami has scored at least 90 points in 18 straight games. ... The Heat fell to 6-1 against the Pacific Division this season, and had their 11-game winning streak against the division dating to last season end. ... Miami's road win streak was the second-longest in franchise history. ... It was the Clippers' fourth sellout of the season. ... Celebs on hand included Rihanna, Jessica Alba, Billy Crystal and Lisa Leslie.

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