Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Clippers stretched their NBA winning streak to six games Thursday, rallying from an early 17-point deficit and hanging on for a 112-109 victory over the Miami Heat.
Paul George scored 27 points and Reggie Jackson scored all 22 of his points in the second half for the Clippers, who handed the Heat a second straight defeat in as many days in Los Angeles after their overtime loss to the Lakers on Wednesday.
The Heat looked determined to bounce back from that disappointment when they took a 17-point lead in the first quarter, buoyed by 19 first-period points from Bam Adebayo on his way to a season-high of 30.
By halftime, however, the Clippers had pulled within 58-56, and they led 86-78 going into the fourth quarter.
Los Angeles pushed the lead to 11 early in the final period, but Miami kept it close as Kyle Lowry scored 22 of his 25 points in the fourth.
Eric Bledsoe's 21 points for the Clippers included a burst of seven straight in the final period that helped the hosts hang on, even as Miami twice cut the deficit to a point in the final minute.
"We just tried to stay poised, stay patient and get a good look," Bledsoe said after Jackson's two free throws with 3.9 seconds remaining gave the Clippers a three-point edge.
Clippers forward Nicolas Batum then swatted away an inbound attempt by Miami's P.J. Tucker and it was over.
"We just finished strong on the defensive end," Bledsoe said, saying the determination on display was the key to the Clippers' current run.
"We fight each and every game," he said. "Even though we're down, we give ourselves a chance to win. We finished strong tonight."
Gobert, Turner scuffle
The Indiana Pacers bounced back from a narrow defeat at Denver with a 111-100 victory over the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City, where a late-game scuffle between Pacers center Myles Turner and Utah's Rudy Gobert saw both ejected -- along with Jazz players Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles.
The fracas started with less than five minutes remaining when Turner blocked Gobert's layup and was pulled to the ground by the Utah player. Turner then gave Gobert a shove, and Gobert responded by wrapping Turner up in a hug.
"He fouled me, I fell down and pulled him down," Gobert said. "It was a foul. Then he shoved me in the back. Then nothing happened."
But the two players had to be separated, while Ingles -- who pushed an official -- and Mitchell -- held back closer to mid-court -- were also tossed from the contest.
"That ignited our determination even more to finish strong," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said after his team handed the Jazz their first home defeat of the season.
Malcolm Brogdon scored a season-high 30 points and pulled down nine rebounds for the Pacers.
T.J. McConnell added 21 points and eight rebounds off the bench and Turner contributed 13 points for Indiana.
Mitchell led the Jazz with 26 points and Gobert added 19 points and 11 rebounds, 11 of his points coming in the third quarter when the Jazz trimmed a 12-point lead to three with 2:46 left in the period.
Indiana answered with three three-pointers from Turner and Brogdon and the Jazz couldn't get the deficit below five points in the final quarter. -- AFP