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Heat hold Clippers to season-low output in 97-79 victory

Last time these teams met, the Clippers would welcome the Heat and their tenacious defense to LA by dropping 111 points on Miami in dominating fashion. The rout would not only break the Heat's 9-game winning streak but also start the dreaded 4-game losing streak in January. This time, it was Miami's turn to host the young Clips. Super Bowl Sunday would surely consume America's afternoon but it would leave room for an early appetizer of basketball with a savory taste of vengeance in the form of a 97-79 routing Heat victory.
Game Notes:
  • A healthy Miller, the revival of Eddie House and an injured Eric Gordon along with the continuous development of synergy in Miami's defense were enough to turn the tables around. Without one of their best shooters, the Heat walled off the paint and dared LA to beat them from beyond the arc. Randy Foye went 2-for-8, Aminu 0-for-5 and the Clippers would ultimately combine for a 25% (6-24) shooting display from three - never consistent enough to change the defensive game plan.
  • It's Eddie's House! The Clippers ineffectively played a 2-3 zone for long stretches of the game allowing the shooting duo of House and Jones to bust the zone shooting 5-of-13 from beyond the arc. House finished with 15 points and a game high +25.
  • Play of the Game - Avoiding the public's chagrin once again, Miami's ball movement continues to be efficient and avoids the cardinal sin of James or Wade standing as mere spectators. Here we have an encouraging play in which the team shares the ball until the perfect opportunity comes to fruition against the zone. James drives, attracts a couple of defenders and passes to Wade who aggressively attacks the lane and goes for the layup. He misses it but puts it back immediately. More please:
  • A combination of athleticism, an absence of a proper defensive box out (this time due to a 2-3 zone), the right timing and a little bit of luck will result in the automatic highlight put-back dunk. Any NBA player is capable of this if willing, but Blake Griffin has the right measurements and theatrics to make it look like he opens a black hole with his savage abilities. It went a little something like this.
  • Apparently, Chris Bosh cut off his dreadlocks from his Raptor days after the NBA finals last year. He still has them, saved under the bathroom sink.
  • It took some time for the American Airlines Arena to fill the seats with warm bodies. Once cozy, the energy was volatile. A Blake Griffin tomahawk would first draw loud cheers in celebration of the thunder but would be soon followed with boos for bringing such thunder to sunny Miami. After Eddie House pushed Griffin out of bounds (see below), chants abounded in support for Eddie! Eddie! Eddie! Last but not least, Miami would find the luxury to scream MVP! as Wade shot free-throws just a few games after doing the same for LeBron James. Brats we are.
  • Juwan Howard made his return to the team after missing 2 games tending to the passing away of a good friend of his. Juwan received some playing time at the end of the 4th quarter.
  • Things got testy for a moment in the 4th quarter. Blake Griffin would call for a volley in transition only to be slightly pushed by Eddie House, causing Griffin to slide on the floor and into the padding around the base of the basket. A flagrant 2 on House would be reduced to a flagrant 1 after referees saw a replay of the events. Baron Davis received a technical for stirring up the pot with House and Spoelstra would also get called for a tech for complaining about the referees' decision to call the House foul flagrant. Good times all around.
  • Not Heat related, but notable to LeBron James' MVP credibility: the Cleveland Cavaliers have lost 24 games in a row, breaking an NBA record.
  • Dallas is currently on a league best 8-game winning streak followed by Miami with a 6-game winning streak. Miami has the 3rd best record in the NBA.
  • The Miami Heat are now 17-1 (the loss was the season opener versus the Boston Celtics) when holding their opponents under 90 points.