Page last updated on Fri Mar 06 07:36:18 EST 2015
11/15/2012 2:32 AM EST
Clippers beat Heat 107-100 for 4th straight win

AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- In their toughest test yet of this young NBA
season, the Los Angeles Clippers measured themselves against the
Miami Heat and liked how they stacked up.

Blake Griffin and Chris Paul had double-doubles, with Paul
keying a third-quarter spurt that helped carry the Clippers to a
107-100 victory on Wednesday night. They have wins over Memphis,
the Lakers, San Antonio and now the defending NBA champions in
their first eight games.

"These wins are good, but we're playing at home and we expect to
win," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said.

Griffin had 20 points and 14 rebounds and Paul had 16 points and
10 assists to lead five players in double figures in the
Clippers' fourth straight win. Jamal Crawford added 22 points
off the bench.

"We can even be better," Griffin said. "We can't rest on a win
like that."

Obviously Griffin has been listening to Paul, who cautions an
even-keeled approach.

"It's early, very early," Paul said. "We don't want to get ahead
of ourselves. Just keep playing the right way every night."

LeBron James scored 30 points for the defending NBA champions,
who lost their fifth in a row against the Clippers in Los
Angeles. Ray Allen added 14 points, including four 3-pointers,
as the Heat dropped to 2-2 on their current six-game trip.

"Tonight was not a good game for us," Dwyane Wade said. "We have
some good moments, but we have to put a full game together on
the road. The important thing right now is to figure out how we
can get better."

Wade was held to six points - well below his 18.4-point average
- playing with a sprained left foot that kept him out of the
morning shootaround.

"I had some shots that I normally make that I wasn't able to
hit, but I just tried to help as much as I could and do my job
as a leader on the floor," he said. "We did a pretty good job
until the end of the third before Chris Paul went off and kind
of separated the game for us. They're playing with a lot more
confidence, and obviously they've got more depth."

The Clippers were clinging to a 72-70 lead in the third when
Paul switched from distributor to scorer, running off 13
straight points and extending their lead to 85-74 going into the
fourth. The Clippers hit five 3-pointers in building the game's
first double-digit lead after neither team led by more than six
points in the first half.

"He makes things happen and that's why I've always felt that
he's the best point guard in the game," James said.

Wade was called for a technical after tangling with Ryan Hollins
and then he missed a jumper over Hollins on Miami's last shot of
the third.

The Clippers' roll continued into the fourth, with Eric Bledsoe
scoring their first eight points for a 93-76 lead. Griffin and
Paul were on the bench, giving the second unit its chance to
dominate the offense against Miami's starters. Bledsoe finished
with 12 points and Caron Butler had 15.

"That's the first time I've been able to sit on the bench and
almost be a fan," Griffin said. "It's fun to watch."

Griffin and Paul returned after Miami cut its deficit to 104-93
with 3:47 remaining. But it was only for insurance as the Heat
failed to make a serious run in the closing minutes.

"The road just gets tougher," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
"That's a good team. We view them as legit competitors for the

Miami led 54-52 at halftime. James wasted no time asserting
himself with a driving dunk 12 seconds into the game. The
Clippers answered with eight straight points, the biggest run
either team managed in the half.

Both teams put on a riveting display of dunks, 3-point shooting
and power moves. The crowd cheered when Bledsoe blocked Wade on
his way to the basket and then Norris Cole airballed a 3-pointer
after the Heat recovered the ball.

"I turned it over so I just tried to get the ball back," Bledsoe

NOTES: Both teams had 19 turnovers. ... Wade hurt his foot in
the third quarter of Monday's game at Houston when he stepped on
teammate Chris Bosh. Against the Clippers, Wade stumbled out of
bounds in the fourth quarter and went down after getting caught
on one of the referees. ... Crawford has 164 points off the
bench, making him the highest scoring reserve in the league this
season. ... The Heat are 13-12 on the road all-time against the
Clippers. ... The teams meet once more this season in Miami.

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