Heat blow 25-point lead, bounce back to top Clippers 104-101
LOS ANGELES (AP) — James Johnson made two free throws with 8.7 seconds left and the Miami Heat recovered after blowing a 25-point lead, bouncing back to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 104-101 Sunday.
Down 25 in the second half, the Clippers began the fourth quarter with a 16-0 run and surged to take a 101-100 edge with 16.3 seconds left. They missed a chance to extend the lead when Austin Rivers missed a pair of foul shots.
Johnson put Miami ahead and, after Blake Griffin missed a 3-pointer, Josh Richardson added two more foul shots.
Hassan Whiteside had 21 points and 17 rebounds for the Heat and Tyler Johnson scored 17 points.
Griffin had 23 points and Lou Williams had 22 for Los Angeles. Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari didn’t play in the second half because of a bruised left hip.
The Heat got off to a fast start, using a stifling defense and sharp 3-point shooting to build a lead that swelled to as many as 19 points. Miami was up 62-49 at halftime.
The Clippers missed their first seven 3-point attempts, shot 27.2 percent in the first quarter and at one point had seven turnovers to Miami’s one.
Heat: Starting guard Dion Waiters was not with the team. He returned to Miami for the birth of his daughter. He is expected to rejoin the Heat at some point during their current six-game road trip.
Clippers: Recalled forward Brice Johnson from their development team in Ontario, California. In Ontario’s first two games, Johnson averaged 17.5 points and 10.5 rebounds.
Heat: Move up the state to take on the champion Warriors on Monday in Oakland.
Clippers: Travel to San Antonio to play the Spurs on Tuesday.
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