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Heat comeback falls short, Clippers earn 112-109 victory

Miami has now lost three in a row.

Miami Heat v LA Clippers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Despite a pair of breath-taking quarters from Bam Adebayo (1st) and Kyle Lowry (4th), the Miami Heat came just short in their comeback attempt, falling 112-109 to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday evening. The Clippers have now won six straight, while the Heat have lost three straight.

Adebayo had 19 first-quarter points — forming a new career-high in points for a single quarter (previous was 15) — while Lowry majestically strung together 22 fourth-quarter points, cutting an nine-point deficit to one with 40.2 seconds left.

Lowry snatched the ball from Reggie Jackson’s grasp on Los Angeles’ ensuing possession. With a chance to take the lead, Lowry pitched it back to Duncan Robinson, who was 2-of-10 from deep up to that point, for the open 3-point attempt. It rimmed out with Kennard securing the rebound with 11.1 seconds left.

Jackson drained both of his free-throws, making it 110-107. Lowry took advantage of the wide-open layup opportunity with under five seconds left, re-cutting it to one. Once again, Jackson drained a pair of free throws, though Miami wouldn’t get a final opportunity due to a bad cross-court inbounds pass from P.J. Tucker.

The Heat, who were on a second-leg of a back-to-back, shot 44.3 percent and 22.0 percent (9-41) from 3-point range.

Bam Adebayo tallied a game-high 30 points on 12-of-18 shooting with 11 rebounds — his 8th double double of 2021-22. Despite stringing together just three points in the first three quarters, Lowry finished with 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting, including 4-of-10 from 3-point range. He also dished out five assists with two steals.

Tyler Herro had 23 points — his 8th 20-point game this season — on 10-of-23 shooting, in addition to his seven rebounds, three assists and one steal.

Every other Heat player combined to shoot a dismal 30.7 percent (12-39) and 20.0 percent (5-25) from beyond the arc.

The Clippers shot 47.3 percent and sunk just 29.7 percent of their triples. Paul George had a team-high 27 points on 11-of-25 shooting with five assists and three steals.

Eric Bledsoe tallied 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting. Reggie Jackson added 22 points — all in the second half — on 7-of-17 shooting. Ivica Zubac tallied 18 points with 11 rebounds, his third double-double of the season.

The Heat corralled a season-high 18 offensive rebounds, though it turned into only 21 second-chance points. The Clippers had nine offensive rebounds with 18 second-chance points.

Thursday’s victory improves the Clippers to 7-4 while the Heat fall to 7-5.

Adebayo tallied 19 of Miami’s first 26 points — outscoring the Clippers 19-16 by himself in the first 7:26. His 19 first quarter points surpassed his previous single-quarter career high of 15 points, set on Feb. 5 against the Washington Wizards.

Strus’ back-to-back corner 3-pointers put Miami ahead 36-21 with 1:49 left in the quarter. Martin’s layup rewarded the Heat with their second 40-point first quarter of the season. The Clippers opened the second period on a 7-0 run, cutting it to 40-32.

Adebayo’s tip-in followed by Vincent’s steal-and-score gave Miami the 47-32 lead with 7:54 left in the quarter.

The Heat led by 15 before an 11-2 Clippers run — capped by two consecutive triples from Kennard — cut the deficit to six with 4:08 left in the first half.

Zubac’s hook shot tied the game at 56 with 39.0 seconds remaining in the half — erasing what was once a 17-point Heat lead. Miami entered halftime up 58-56, shooting 48.9 percent and 4-of-20 from 3-point range. The Clippers were also inefficient from distance, netting just 28.6 percent of their triples while shooting 46.8 percent overall.

After Los Angeles began the third on a 7-0 run — the Heat countered with an 8-2 run to take the 66-65 lead. Jackson’s layup gave the Clippers the 75-70 lead with 4:46 remaining in the third quarter, prompting a Heat timeout.

Bledsoe’s 3-pointer widened the Clipper lead to 84-75. Back-to-back triples from Martin and Lowry trimmed it to 93-88 with 7:30 left. Seven more points from Lowry cut it to 99-96.

His miraculous quarter continued, cutting it to one with under a minute remaining. Though the comeback effort fell short, Lowry’s 22-point fourth quarter marked the fourth 20-point fourth quarter of his career — the first since the 2019-20 season.

Next up: Miami seek its first win of the five-game road trip against the Utah Jazz on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 5:00 p.m. EST.