NBA Basketball

111
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
LA Clippers 27 27 23 34 111
Miami 31 23 18 27 99
99
4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)01:3019:30 ET6:30 PM CTNaN:� , January 23, 2019
AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Florida  Attendance: 19,600

Clippers stumble into matchup with Heat

According to STATS
According to STATS

Los Angeles Clippers at Miami Heat

  1. The Clippers have lost six of their last seven games, most recently losing, 106-98, at Dallas last night. Los Angeles has a 3-2 record on the road on the second game of a back-to-back this season, averaging 125.4 points with 53.5/50.0/77.5 percent shooting splits in those games.
  2. The Heat are 5-5 in January - in the team's five wins this month, Miami has averaged 115.2 points, scoring at least 110 points in each win. In the team's five losses this month, Miami has averaged 91.8 points, failing to reach 100 points in any of the losses.
  3. Miami has won three straight games against the Clippers, including a 121-98 victory on December 8. With a win tonight, the Heat can sweep the season series over the Clippers in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1999-00 and 2000-01.
  4. Tobias Harris is averaging 23.3 points with a 65.4 effective field-goal percentage on zero days' rest this season. Harris, along with Giannis Antetokounmpo, are the only two players this season averaging at least 20.0 points with an eFG% of 60.0 or better on the second game of a back-to-back (min. 5 games).
  5. Over his last two games, Dion Waiters is averaging 19.5 points on 58.6 percent shooting. Since making his season debut on January 2, Miami has outscored opponents by 9.7 points per 100 possessions with Waiters on the court, while being outscored by 5.4 points per 100 possessions with him off the court.
  6. The Clippers' bench is scoring 51.1 points per game this season, on pace to be the most by any team in the last 30 seasons. Lou Williams leads all qualified bench scorers at 18.6 points per game, while Montrezl Harrell ranks fourth, scoring 15.7 points per game as a reserve.

A few years ago, the Los Angeles Clippers visiting the Miami Heat would've been a big deal: Dunks by Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, smart plays from LeBron James and Chris Paul, 3-pointers drilled by Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.

Almost none of that will be in evidence on Wednesday night, when the Clippers visit the Heat in a battle of mediocre teams.

Of the stars mentioned above, only Wade remains on one of the rosters -- and he is now a Heat reserve in the final season of his stellar NBA career.

Miami enters Wednesday in seventh place in the Eastern Conference playoff race, just a half-game ahead of the Charlotte Hornets. The Heat are just three games ahead of a pace that would push them out of the playoffs completely.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has drawn criticism lately over his decisions on who plays and who doesn't. Guard Dion Waiters complained about his lack of minutes just last week.

Following his angry words, Waiters scored 21 points in 22 minutes against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday and then followed that up on Monday by scoring 18 points in 26 minutes against the Boston Celtics.

On the other end of the spectrum on Monday in a 107-99 defeat at Boston, two Miami players who have contributed significantly this season -- shooting guard Wayne Ellington and power forward Kelly Olynyk -- did not play due to the coach's decision.

"You never know what's going on," Olynyk said. "It's tough mentally. It's tough physically."

Meanwhile, the Clippers lost to the Mavericks 106-98 on Tuesday night in Dallas, missing 16 consecutive shots during one second-half stretch.

Jordan, the former Clippers star now playing for Dallas, had 13 points, 16 rebounds and four blocked shots.

The Clippers, who have dropped six of their past seven games, are without forward Danilo Gallinari, their second-leading scorer. Gallinari, who is averaging 19 points and six rebounds, has already missed two games in a row due to back spasms.

"We obviously felt it was serious enough for him to stay at home. We have to just take care of him," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said after Los Angeles began its trip with a win at San Antonio on Sunday.

The Clippers, who were outscored in the paint 44-32 by the Mavs, got their third-leading scorer back on Tuesday as guard Lou Williams scored 15 points in 23 minutes of his familiar super-sub role. He had missed the previous two games due to hamstring soreness.

Tobias Harris, the Clippers' leading scorer (20.7 points per game) and rebounder (eight per game), was held to nine points and seven boards on Tuesday. He shot 1-for-9 from the floor, including 1-for-6 on 3-point attempts.

The Heat have won three consecutive games in the series with the Clippers, including a 121-98 rout at Los Angeles on Dec. 8. The Heat outscored the Clippers 30-8 in the fourth quarter of that game even though Miami's Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside and Josh Richardson did not play.

Dragic remains out due to a knee injury, but the rest of the Heat players are healthy, which is what's causing all the stress regarding playing-time decisions.

The Heat, it seems, doesn't have any great players, but they do have a bunch of guys with similar skills, giving Spoelstra options ... and some headaches, too.

"Coach has to do his job," said Olynyk, referring to Spoelstra. "I don't envy him. It's not an easy job.

"I guess the beauty of it is that you have a lot of options. You can go a thousand ways."

--Field Level Media

Updated January 23, 2019

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