Heat begin western trip against Clippers
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Heat embark on a six-game western road trip and it won't begin easily as they visit the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday night at Staples Center.
The Heat will also visit Utah, Phoenix and Golden State before the All-Star break, then continue in Dallas before concluding the trek in Oklahoma City in a huge rematch of last week's drubbing by the Thunder.
Miami hits the road playing good basketball. The Heat have won two straight and five of their last six with the only setback during that stretch was at the hands of the Thunder.
Last time out, the Heat ran their record to 27-1 when holding opponents under 100 points as they dispatched the Detroit Pistons, 102-96, at American Airlines Arena.
It wasn't LeBron James who was the high scorer for the Heat, this time it was Dwyane Wade. He scored 30 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out five assists for Miami.
Wade's performance somewhat overshadowed James' own all-around effort, as the reigning MVP totaled 24 points, 11 assists and eight boards. Chris Bosh was the only other double-figure scorer for the Heat with 17, but all 10 Miami players who saw action scored.
"Our team is built for guys to be in the lineup. We're built on chemistry. We're built on rhythm. That's what we've had the last few games," said James.
The Clippers open up a five-game homestand losing two of their last three, both on the road. LA beat the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center, but sandwiched road losses at the Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets around the victory.
The setback against the Nuggets was heart-breaking.
Denver's Randy Foye fixed a broken play at the buzzer, draining a miracle 3- pointer to send the Nuggets over the Clippers, 116-115, in a thriller at Pepsi Center.
Matt Barnes provided the 22nd lead change in a back-and-forth affair on an unlikely 3-pointer with 6.2 seconds remaining, leaving just enough time for the Nuggets to steal a win.
J.J. Hickson held the ball near the top of the key for a slow-developing pick- and-roll, and Foye rushed over to take the ball away from the big man. With Blake Griffin in his face, Foye faded away from 30 feet and released it just before the buzzer, sliding on his back as the ball dropped through the net.
"Overall the defense was pretty good. (Foye) made a tough shot. It happens," LA head coach Doc Rivers said.
Griffin poured in 36 points to lead the Clippers, who got 19 points from both DeAndre Jordan and Jamal Crawford. Jordan pulled down 12 boards and has posted double-digit rebounds in 28 straight games, breaking Griffin's franchise record set in the 2010-11 season
The Clippers will also host the Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers before things get interesting again. After those two, the Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs head to Hollywood.
This series has been even and predictable over recent years. They've split the last 10 matchups with the Heat winning all five in Miami and the Clippers victorious in all five in LA.
02/05 10:33:52 ET