Clippers beat Heat 107-100 for 4th straight win
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.