NBA regular season

Heat stave off Clippers in back-and-forth tilt

Heat stave off Clippers in back-and-forth tilt

FACE-OFF. Clippers guard Paul George controls the ball against Heat forward Jimmy Butler.

Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Kawhi Leonard sits out for management purposes as the Clippers star continues to work back from an injury

Bam Adebayo buried 31 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Jimmy Butler scored 26 points on 10-of-12 shooting, and the Miami Heat handed the visiting Los Angeles Clippers their second loss in as many nights, 115-110, on Thursday, December 8 (Friday, December 9, Manila time).

Butler’s brilliant shooting night kicked into overdrive down the stretch, as Miami’s season-long leading scorer connected on three successive jumpers in the final 2:43 to help keep Los Angeles at bay.

Clippers star Kawhi Leonard missed the game for management purposes as he continues to work back from an injury.

A 14-5 run midway through the final period gave Miami control for good. Four Heat players scored during the decisive stretch, capped with Tyler Herro’s three-pointer to push the lead to 7 points.

Herro finished with 19 points, while Caleb Martin added 17. Victor Oladipo scored 6 points off the bench – 4 in the fourth quarter – in just his second game of the season.

Oladipo contributed to the key run with an assist to Dewayne Dedmon, who finished with 6 points off the bench.

Paul George led Los Angeles with 29 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. He kept the Clippers within striking distance late, hitting a three-pointer and a layup in consecutive possessions to pull the visitors to within a single possession in the final minute.

The Clippers were playing the second leg of a back-to-back, one night removed from coughing up an 18-point lead in an overtime loss to Orlando. 

On Thursday, they regained control heading into the fourth quarter. Los Angeles could still not fully bridge the gap, however.

Reggie Jackson connected on 4-of-6 from three-point range en route to 20 points. No other Clipper scored more than 11 points, and Los Angeles dropped its sixth straight game in which it scored 112 points or fewer. 

The Clippers won the five other games in that period dating to November 19, scoring more than 112 in each.

Thursday’s contest was a back-and-forth affair much of the way, with the Heat rallying from an eight-point deficit after the first quarter to take a two-point advantage into intermission. –

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