Clippers torched by Heat in dismal fourth quarter

Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Clippers were outscored 30-8 in the fourth quarter and also lost coach Doc Rivers to an ejection during a 121-98 loss to the Miami Heat on Saturday.
The cheers from Heat fans began in the first quarter, when Dwyane Wade checked into the game. It was his 1,000th career NBA game in a career that’s coming to an end after this season.
And then Wade proceeded to give the fans something to cheer about, scoring 16 points in the first half, his effort a big reason why the Heat opened a 13-point lead over the Clippers.
But the Clippers roared back behind the effort from Tobias Harris and Lou Williams. Harris dunked over Kelly Olynyk while being fouled, and netted the free throw for a three-point play.
A few seconds later, Lou Williams scored while being fouled. He also completed a three-point play that helped the Clippers climb back to within 65-62 at half-time.
The Clippers had their patience tested late in the fourth quarter because several calls didn’t go their way.
Williams lost the ball, but he thought he was fouled on the play.
Instead, Patrick Beverley was called for a clear-path foul
against Wade, who made both free throws.
Then, after Bam Adebayo tipped in a shot the Clippers thought was offensive goal tending, Harris was called for a technical foul, leading to a free throw by Rodney McGruder for an 85-80 Heat lead.
But the Clippers recovered from that, even taking a 90-87 lead.
It was the Heat’s turn to recover, doing so by scoring four straight points to end the third quarter with a 91-90 lead on a length-of-court drive by James Johnson just before the quarter expired.
The Clippers had won nine straight games at Staples Center.
“It’s just that we’ve played very well at home,” Rivers said. “That’s nice. But not bad on the road, either. The road is hard. The West is hard. We get all that. There’s no layups.
“Every game is hard right now and I think our guys kind of embrace that and accept it.” — dpa

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