Heat get out of Cali with pair of tough OT losses

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 11: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat shoots the ball over Caron Butler #5 of the Los Angeles Clippers in the first half at Staples Center on January 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Both the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers were fresh off of tough losses the night before and came out last night looking a bit tentative as the two teams sized up their opponent throughout the opening quarter. Miami scored an identical 24 points in the 1st and 2nd quarters, both enough to top the Clippers and take a 5-point lead into the break.

One thing that had to chance was the 11 turnovers committed by the Heat, because those are the kind of mistakes that will come back and haunt you later in the game. The Clippers kept the game close throughout the 3rd quarter and drew even at 65 apiece with just over a minute left which let to a mini-scoring frenzy to close out the 3rd quarter. By the time it was over, there was 12 minutes left and the Heat would have a 1-point deficit to overcome.

The 4th quarter was just a back and forth seesaw match as the teams battled until the game was very tight down the final stretch. Miami had an opportunity more then once to put the game in their favor, but missed free throws would end up being a killer for the Heat at the times they would be most valuable. LeBron James missed 2-of-4 from the charity stripe in the final 16 seconds of the 4th quarter, which forced the game into OT.

It was there that things began to unravel for the Heat in more ways then one. With the Heat down by 4, Mario Chalmers hit Miami's only field goal of the OT, drilling a triple to get the Heart within one. Following a Blake Griffin layup, the Heat was down 3 with just under a minute left in overtime. Chris Bosh put up a hook shot that looked to be going in but DeAndre Jordan ‘blocked' the shot and basically altered the path of the remainder of the game.

Upon further review, the ball was absolutely a goaltend; itl was on its way down when Jordan came into contact with it, but hey...that's basketball, right? Just like you can't expect your favorite player to hit every shot, you can't expect every NBA official to get every call correct. Trust me, I'm as pissed off as any of you guys out there, but it is what it is. We still have the best damn teams in the league right now and its only early January. Time like this I just think to myself BRING ON THE PLAYOFFS already because that's where we shine!

GAME NOTES

  • LeBron James made it to the foul line 18 times but only made 9 of them.
  • Miami had just 1 FG over the last 12 ½ minutes of regulation and overtime.
  • Relatively quiet night for the big 3: Bosh 16 and 11, LeBron 23 and 13, Wade 17 and 7. Solid numbers under normal circumstances, but not very ‘Big 3'esh'
  • LeBron did come away with his 200th double double in the loss.
  • Props to Erik Spoesltra for going bonkers on the missed goaltend call in OT. He got his ass thrown out of the game and certainly will make sure the league takes a good look at that replay. That's something that gets your players' attention, knowing that their coach totally has their back.
  • The Heat bench was non-existent last night. 11 points on 5-of-14 shooting, 12 boards, 2 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks, 5 turnovers.
  • Norris Cole played 15 minutes, missing all 5 of his field goals. He had 3 boards, 2 assists, and 2 turnovers. Chalmers had 1 turnover in 40 minutes.

Alright, that's enough from me, I'm going to bed. If I missed anything, feel free to leave in the comments; Awesome place to come back and play an amazing game is coming up this week.... Miami heads to Denver on Friday night to face the Nuggets.

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