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Heat build massive lead, hold off Clippers late for victory

Jan 2, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA;  Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry (7) shoots the ball over Los Angeles Clippers forward Norman Powell (24) during the first quarter at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Bam Adebayo recorded 31 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Miami Heat to a 110-100 victory over the host Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.

Tyler Herro contributed 23 points and seven rebounds as the Heat won for the fourth time in their past five games. Victor Oladipo added 15 points and Max Strus had 13 points and eight rebounds for Miami, which outscored Los Angeles 29-17 in the fourth quarter.

Paul George had 25 points, seven assists and three steals for the Clippers, who lost their third straight game. Marcus Morris Sr. scored 14 points, Luke Kennard added 11 and Ivica Zubac had 10 for Los Angeles, which recovered from a 21-point, second-half deficit before wilting in the final stanza.

Clippers star Kawhi Leonard sat out with a non-COVID illness.

Los Angeles shot 43.3 percent from the field, including 12 of 29 from 3-point range.

The Heat connected on 45.9 percent of their shots and were 12 of 36 from behind the arc. Herro made five treys.

Los Angeles outscored Miami 34-14 in the third quarter to turn an 18-point halftime deficit into an 83-81 lead.

The Clippers had runs of 10-0 and 14-0 during a stretch of nearly seven minutes in which they went on a 24-4 tear. George capped the burst with his third 3-pointer of the quarter to give Los Angeles a 77-75 edge with 3:28 left.

George made two free throws with 4.2 seconds left to give the Clippers the two-point lead entering the final stanza.

Miami scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to take an 88-83 lead on Gabe Vincent’s basket.

The Heat led by six before Kennard scored five straight points — including a 3-pointer with 5:40 left — to pull Los Angeles within 96-95.

Miami rattled off the next seven points. Jimmy Butler made two free throws, Herro buried a 3-pointer and Adebayo slammed home a putback to make it 103-95 with 3:40 left.

George made a jumper 14 seconds later, but the Clippers were unable to make a charge. Another dunk by Adebayo made it 108-99 with 1:16 remaining and the Heat closed it out.

Herro and Adebayo scored 16 points apiece in the first half as Miami led 67-49 at the break.

Herro capped a 16-2 spurt with a 3-pointer to give the Heat a 56-42 lead with 4:19 remaining in the first half. Herro knocked down another trey with 1:44 left to give Miami its 21-point lead.

–Field Level Media