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Clippers can’t solve Miami Heat, have nine-game home winning streak snapped – Whittier Daily News

LOS ANGELES — It figured to be a game of attrition: The home team with one of the NBA’s best benches would, eventually, have the upper hand on the team with only nine — actually, after the Miami Heat’s Tyler Johnson first-quarter hip injury — eight players available.

But with chants of “Let’s Go Heat” emanating from the Staples Center crowd on Saturday night, Miami wouldn’t go away and the Clippers floundered. They missed 3-pointers on their end and gave up 3s on the other and unraveled further in the fourth quarter.

And they lost — 121-98 — falling for the third time in four games and for just the second time at home this season, snapping a nine-game Staples Center winning streak.

Dwyane Wade delivered for his vocal contingent of fans in his final visit to play the Clippers before he retires (the Lakers host the Heat on Monday, Wade’s last scheduled stop in L.A.).

He became the 15th active player to play 1,000 regular-season games, and commemorated the occasion by scoring a game-high 25 points, shooting 5 for 10 from deep.

The Clippers (16-9) appeared out of sync for most of the game, but especially in the fourth quarter, when the Heat (11-14) outscored them, 30-8. The Clippers scored only two points in the first nearly nine minutes of quarter.

Clippers Coach Doc Rivers got called for a pair of technical fouls within 15 seconds in the fourth quarter and was ejected. He seemed shocked by the second technical and left the floor with a shrug and 7:17 on the clock. Assistant Coach Rex Kalamian took over on the sideline.

The Heat finished 13 for 39 from 3-point range. The Clippers went 7 for 29.

Tobias Harris led the Clippers with 20 points on 8-19 shooting.

In the third quarter, a Harris jumper tied it 85-85 and a 3-pointer by Mike Scott made it 88-85, but Miami recovered and took a 91-90 lead into the final quarter.

The Heat controlled the first half, building a lead as large as 13 by shooting 9 for 22 from deep (four of those 3s belonged to Wade) and 22 of 24 from the free-throw line.

The Clippers, meanwhile, made only four of their first-half 17 3-point attempts, though they did convert 18 of their 20 free-throw looks.

But not everything fell in Miami’s favor early. Already without Josh Richardson — who was a gametime scratch due to right shoulder impingement — as well as Hassan Whiteside, Goran Dragic, Wayne Ellington and Dion Waiters, the Heat lost Johnson with about five minutes left in the first quarter.

Johnson suffered a left hip contusion, the team said. Although X-rays were negative, he did not return, leaving Miami with eight active players. Johnson had eight points in his first start this season before he went out.

The Clippers got back in it with a 25-15 run to close the second quarter, including Harris hammering home an authoritative dunk — and drawing a the foul — off a quick pass from Beverley off an inbounds play with 1:37 to go. Harris celebrated with Harrell-esque emotion, hollering and clenching his fists before making the free throw to draw the Clippers to to 58-55.

A Lou Williams layin and free throw followed by an Avery Bradley layup and the Clippers were up 60-58, which represented their first lead since they were up 6-5.

A couple more 3-pointers by Wade (and a free throw by Derrick Jones Jr.) gave the visitors the halftime advantage, 65-62.

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