It was the Clippers who would go to work on offence to start the game. With rookie, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leading the Charge. The Heat didn’t stay stagnant for long though. With Josh Richardson out, Miami added some variety on offense early, with the brothers Johnson (Tyler and James) and Justise Winslow all doing work.
As much flack as Tyler takes about his contract, he actually is a capable player when he gets the minutes. This was on display in the first quarter. With room to operate, James Johnson also excelled in his old point forward position setting up teammates and looking solid on offense (he finally looks to have shed his rust).
Dwyane Wade would enter around the 6 minute mark to an eruption of applause for his 1000th game, it was a very cool moment. He is loved everywhere (well maybe not Dallas).
The Heat would lose Tyler Johnson to an awkward Tobias Harris knee near the end of the quarter. Yet another injury for the shorthanded Heat.
The first quarter was back and forth between the Clips and Heat. Miami managed to take the lead and maintain it for most of the quarter. They would stagnate around the 4 minute mark, but after nearly a minute and half of scoreless basketball Wade would score on multiple treys. With Miami so shorthanded, and Bam in foul trouble, we got some Haslem minutes (always a treat) in the final minutes.
The Heat would go into the second quarter up four.
Miami came out firing in the second with Winslow and Olynyk working to extend the lead. They’d enter foul trouble as a team early, with three very quick fouls. The Clippers struggled from beyond the arc and on offense in general, a credit to the Heat defense (especially Haslem who was an absolute menace on defense).
Kelly Olynyk was a beast for Miami, taking the reins on offense. He had 14 points midway through the second. Also, Winslow was impressive in the point guard role as he facilitated and scored for the Heat.
Despite Miami’s tough defense, the Clippers managed to hang around. Despite Miami’s best efforts, the Clippers would pick up steam on an 11-0 scoring run to take the lead. That would be short lived as Dwyane Wade lit things up beyond the arc to steal the lead once again. Miami would take a 3 point lead into halftime.
The Clippers came out swinging with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander once again leading the charge. Luckily, the Heat would match their pace with great efforts from Rodney McGruder, and James Johnson. The lead would start to fluctuate and continue to do so for much of the quarter.
Winslow continued to do a solid job at point guard, and the Heat reserves really stepped up. Eight active players total and the Heat shared the ball incredibly well to get everybody involved.
The Clippers would go on an 10-4 run to end the quarter, trying to take a lead into the fourth. Luckily, James Johnson would go coast to coast to keep Miami ahead by one to end the third.
The Heat started the fourth off with a beautiful Derrick Jones Jr alley-oop from Wade. They’d start an assault on offense getting some beautiful plays out of Dwyane Wade, Bam Adebayo and Justise Winslow. With so many guards out, Wade was forced to play big minutes and was awesome (he had a season high 5 threes).
Miami would start to build out their lead while the Clippers struggled to score. Bam would punctuate Miami’s offensive assault with a spectacular slam dunk (it was awesome).
This would cause frustration among the Clippers bench, leading to a Doc Rivers ejection.
The Heat wouldn’t let up continuing their 16-2 scoring run to take a 15 point lead. This would let them run away with the lead, and ultimately end the Clippers
With so many people hurt, this was no doubt a very impressive and morale boosting win for Miami. They’ll be back at it again against the Lakers on Monday.