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Heat hold off Clippers
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - A first-quarter barrage helped the Miami Heat build a seemingly comfortable first half lead, which they were clinging to by game's end.
Good thing Ray Allen was there to bail them out.
Allen scored 11 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter, including a critical 3-pointer with 42.4 seconds left, and the Heat beat the Los Angeles Clippers 116-112 on Wednesday.
Miami led by as many as 19 in the first half, but the Clippers whittled the gap to 109-107 with 1:04 left after DeAndre Jordan threw down an alley-oop and Jordan Crawford hit a step-back jumper.
The Heat, though, responded when Dwyane Wade hit a wide-open Allen in the left corner for his triple.
LA never got within less than four the rest of the way.
LeBron James had 31 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds for the Heat, who snapped a five-game road losing streak to the Clippers. Wade added 14 points and eight assists in the win.
"It's tough to win on the road, it's about finding a way," Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We got tested tonight."
Blake Griffin tallied a season-high 43 points to go with 13 boards, while Crawford netted 31 points for Los Angeles, which has dropped three of its last four on the heels of a four-game winning streak.
"I'm happy with the fight we had, that says a lot about our team. We just had too many mistakes. I can't fault the effort from our guys," Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said.
Miami made 15 of its first 18 shots from the floor and raced out to a 33-20 lead before settling for a 36-24 cushion after a quarter of play when Shane Battier nailed a straightaway 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The Heat shot 69.6 percent (16-of-23) in the opening frame and set a first- quarter team record with 15 assists on their 16 made field goals.
Allen's technical free throw staked Miami to its 19-point bulge, 43-24, early in the second, but LA got it within 62-55 at the break when Crawford knocked down a deep triple at the horn over the outstretched arms of James.
The Heat extended the margin back to 89-75 after three.
Griffin netted the final eight points of a 10-0 Clippers run, which cut the deficit to 99-97 with 5:14 to go.
The Heat tallied 33 assists on 41 made field goals in all ... Jordan had 16 points and 16 rebounds ... LA outrebounded Miami 52-31 ... Miami shot 52.6 percent (41-of-78) from the floor.
02/06 03:01:19 ET