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Miami Heat burn Clippers down the stretch

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The Miami Heat led by Lebron James, were able to withstand a comeback by the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night, in a 116-112 win.

Blake Griffin fought hard along with the rest of the Clippers, however was simply not enough, committing 20 turnovers and the bench being outscored 23-5.

Griffin finished with 43 points and 15 rebounds in the loss.

"I've said a thousand times, I think Blake needs to be more in the MVP conversation. I know we hear the Lebron's, the Durant's, and rightfully so. But he's been playing like this all year," Jamal Crawford said.

The team is 11-6 since guard Chris Paul was sidelined with a shoulder injury. J.J. Redick was ruled out of the game, due to a sore right hip.

Miami executed their plays perfectly along with rotations and ball movement that could not be defended superbly by the Clippers in the first half. The Heat had a supreme 43-24 lead in the second quarter.

The Clippers continued to battle back and tried to be a competitive opponent, as Jamal Crawford nailed a 30 foot three pointer at the buzzer that ended the second quarter. Heat led 62-55 at halftime, despite Blake Griffin with 22 points that led all scorers.

The Heat continued where they left off in the first half, extending their lead over the Clippers 73-60, and went on an 11-5 run. The Clippers muscled their way to the free throw line a great deal in the third quarter. Griffin was defended by Lebron James when he committed a foul with less than 3 minutes left. James was so disgusted with the call, he was assessed a technical foul for arguing the call. James just looked at referee too long.

In the fourth quarter, the Clippers played locked down defense and went on a 10-0 run led by Griffin with five minutes left. The Heat led 99-95 when James connected on a basket and a three pointer a minute later. The Clippers continued to fight, however Ray Allen spotted up and connected on a three pointer with less than a minute left sealed the victory for the Heat.

"I was proud of my team tonight. I know they're no moral victories, but we didn't stop fighting tonight," Blake Griffin said.

Lebron James finished with 31 points, 12 assist and 8 rebounds in the victory.

"I think it was just our mental toughness, especially in the third quarter when they made their run. We just stayed composed and found a way to get a win. We made stops and executed offensively," said James.

Dwyane Wade scored 14 points, and Ray Allen finished with 15 points on 50% shooting from the field.

The Clippers will regroup and prepare to face the Toronto Raptors and Terrance Ross, on Friday night at Staples Center.



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