NBA: No comeback this time for Clippers in loss to Miami Heat

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jan 29 2022 12:22 PM

Heat guard Tyler Herro shoots over Clippers teammates Isaiah Hartenstein and Eric Bledsoe in their game on January 28, 2022. Sam Navarro, USA Today Sports/Reuters
Heat guard Tyler Herro shoots over Clippers teammates Isaiah Hartenstein and Eric Bledsoe in their game on January 28, 2022. Sam Navarro, USA Today Sports/Reuters

Gabe Vincent shot 6-for-8 on 3rd-quarter 3-point attempts and Jimmy Butler went 16-for-16 on free throws en route to 26 points as the Miami Heat beat the visiting Los Angeles Clippers 121-114 on Friday night.

Vincent, staring in place of point guard Kyle Lowry — who missed his 6th straight game due to personal reasons — scored 23 points. He shot 7-for-12 from long range for the game.

Butler, playing with a sore left foot, added 6 rebounds and a game-high 9 assists for the Heat, who have the best home record in the Eastern Conference (18-5). Miami also has the best overall ledger in the East (32-17).

Heat center Bam Adebayo added 20 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

The victory was Miami's first over the Clippers since December 8, 2018, breaking a 6-game losing streak in the series.

Luke Kennard led the Clippers with 23 points, including 16 in the 4th quarter. Eric Bledsoe added 19 points, and Justise Winslow contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Clippers, who came back to win 3 games in the past 2 1/2 weeks after trailing by at least 24 points, couldn't perform that feat again. They fell behind by 23 in the 3rd quarter but only got as close as 4 points with 33.9 seconds left.

The Heat struggled early, missing their first 5 shots and turning the ball over twice. However, Miami recovered to hold a 28-19 edge at the end of the 1st quarter, limiting the Clippers to 30.4 percent shooting.

Miami stretched its lead to 57-45 at halftime. For the half, the Clippers shot just 35.7 percent, including 2-for-16 on 3-point attempts. Butler led both teams with 16 first-half points as Miami shot 44.4 percent from the floor.

The Heat stretched their lead to 85-62 in the 3rd quarter before settling for a 96-80 advantage headed to the 4th.

Los Angeles cut its deficit to 117-113 in the final minute, but Butler made 4 free throws in the last 29 seconds to secure Miami's win.

For the game, Miami had a 51-37 rebounding edge, and the Heat shot 15-for-34 on 3-point attempts while holding the Clippers to 9-for-35 shooting from long distance.