Wow, what a strange game. The Clippers seemed to be in trouble going into this game against the talented Miami Heat as they were still without Blake Griffin but DeAndre Jordon also was missing from the lineup as he was ill breaking his NBA record for the active leader in consecutive games played. His loss showed early as the Heat opened up a 17 point lead at 49-32 late in the second quarter. However, in a remarkable turnaround reminiscent of the Rockets come back in game 6 of the playoffs last year, everything that could go wrong for Miami and right for the Clippers did in the second half. Inspired by reserves Cole Aldrich, Austin Rivers and Palbo Prigioni, LA turned this game into an unexpected blowout. Prigioni had a NBA season high of 8 steals in only 14 minutes. Only coach Doc Rivers had that many steals in less than 20 minutes in NBA history.
Dwayne Wade (7 turnovers), Chris Bosh and the other starters seemed distracted along with the coaches who seemed out of it. The Clippers best shooters kept getting wide open 3 point shots over and over especially Redick, Pierce and Crawford. The Heat was led by Gerald Green who was on fire in the first half but really missed point guard Goran Dragic as they couldn’t keep a handle on the ball and were caught sleeping quite a few times by Prigioni. Backup point guard Tyler Johnson was badly outplayed and had 4 turnovers. Even Josh Smith contributed. He and Stephenson have been relegated to the bench of late from lack of production and others have picked up the slack with their 10 straight wins. The final score was 104-90 but LA went up by over 20 points in the second half. Aldrich led them in scoring with 19 while Paul had 12 assists and Pierce had 9 rebounds.
Doc Rivers was very pleased with his team’s effort that they did not give up vs a talented team and kept battling. Griffin still will be out a while and Jordon is day to day with his illness but that has not effected the team as everyone has picked up the slack.
More at www.nba.com/clippers