Kawhi Leonard had 25 points and 11 rebounds, James Harden scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half and the Los Angeles Clippers remained red-hot by topping the sliding Miami Heat 103-95 on Sunday night
MIAMI — Kawhi Leonard had 25 points and 11 rebounds, James Harden scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half and the Los Angeles Clippers remained red-hot by topping the sliding Miami Heat 103-95 on Sunday night.
Harden flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 11 assists and eight assists. Norman Powell scored 16 points and Paul George added 11 for the Clippers. They are 25-5 since the start of December — by far the best record in the NBA over that span.
Jimmy Butler scored 21 points and Terry Rozier finished with 17 for the Heat. They have lost eight of their last 10.
Bam Adebayo and Josh Richardson each had 14 points for the Heat. Adebayo grabbed 13 rebounds and Caleb Martin scored 11 points for Miami, which played without its two best 3-point shooters. Duncan Robinson remains in the NBA’s concussion protocols and Tyler Herro was slated to start Sunday, then was a very late scratch after being diagnosed with a migraine.
Miami was held under 100 points for the 12th time this season. The Heat are 2-10 in those games; only Portland and Charlotte have more such games this season.
The Clippers improved to 5-1 in their seven-game, 11-day trip necessitated because the arena where they and the Los Angeles Lakers play their home games was taken over by Sunday night’s Grammy Awards. The trip ends Monday in Atlanta, and then the Clippers get a three-game homestand before going to Golden State in their finale before the All-Star break.
The Clippers had seven points through seven minutes — matching their second-slowest start of the season — and the Heat still couldn’t take advantage. Miami briefly led by 11 in the opening quarter before the teams went into halftime tied 43-43.
The teams combined for seven first-half fouls, the fewest in any NBA game this season. The 43 points was a season-low for the Clippers and tied the third-fewest by halftime for the Heat. And the 86 combined points by the break was the sixth-fewest out of more than 700 games played so far this season.
AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba