Both teams started the game slowly but the Clippers gradually begin heating up from the field, first with J.J. Redick scoring from both long range and on drives to the rim and afterwards with Jamal Crawford, Paul Pierce and Chris Paul providing timely baskets to grab the lead and maintain control of the game.
There was a point with less than five minutes left in the game where the Heat looked like they might notch another spirited comeback performance after pulling to within 86-83 on a Bosh 3-pointer ignited the home crowd thrilled to see their team again. But that's when Paul, who started the game missing his first nine shot attempts, hit back-to-back 3-pointers and fed DeAndre Jordan for a perfect alley-oop dunk to answer back. Despite Goran Dragic scoring eight points the rest of the way, Crawford hit another 3-pointer and Paul hit a jumper to give L.A. a double-digit lead and seal the victory.
Bosh and Wade combined to shoot 12-37 from the field and though the Heat had five players scoring in double-figures to keep within striking distance early in the fourth quarter, they couldn't match the Clippers' hot shooting in crunch time. Amar'e Stoudemire didn't make much of an impact as a starter and Hassan Whiteside came off the bench to score 10 points and grab 10 rebounds in 17 minutes but couldn't keep the Heat from finishing the game without a block. He was also slowed down in the third quarter after rolling his ankle attempting to block a shot and did not play in the fourth quarter -- though Erik Spoelstra did not mention that after the game as a reason for not going back to him.
Miami's troubles largely began in the third quarter in which they shot 4-20 from the field, their lowest total in any quarter this season. They also failed to take advantage in the first quarter when the Clippers missed 14 consecutive shots after Redick opened the scoring for the game.
It doesn't get much easier for the Heat on Tuesday when they host the San Antonio Spurs before heading into the All-Star break.