DEANDRE Jordan delivered the biggest basket that helped the Los Angeles Clippers douse a fiery end-game rally of the Miami Heat and escape with a 102-98 win at the AmericanAirlines Arena on Friday (Saturday, Manila time).
The Clippers led most of the game, leading by as much as 16 in the third quarter, and still held a 95-87 advantage with 1:42 left in the game. Miami then cut it down to one, 99-98, with 10 seconds remaining before Chris Paul drew a foul and headed to the stripe.
After Paul made the first free throw, Miami put in a small-ball lineup and kept Hassan Whiteside out to prepare for a game-tying triple if Paul completes his charities. But Jordan soared over the Heat players to gather the rebound following Paul’s miss and sank the dagger putback to take the fight out of Miami with 7.7 seconds left.
Blake Griffin led the Clippers, winners of four straight to improve to 20-7, in scoring with 20 points. Paul and JJ Redick each scored 17, while Jordan had 12 markers and 19 boards.
Goran Dragic led all scorers with 21 points along with 11 assists. Justise Winslow came off the bench and added 15 markers, while Whiteside finished with 11 points and 17 rebounds. Miami fell to 9-18.