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Clippers-Heat Preview (Jan. 12)
Posted By Taylor Smith On Jan 12 2011 @ 4:15 pm In Los Angeles Clippers | No Comments
Holy Barnum and Bailey, Batman!
Tonight, the traveling circus known as the Miami Heat will make their second trip to Staples Center in less than a month, and will be facing Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers for the first time this season.
The Clippers are just 12-24 on the year, but have won seven of their last 10 games, including two straight.
Miami is surging after their ordinary 9-8 start to the season, and has won 20 of their last 21 games to improve to 30-9 and are alone in first place in the Eastern Conference.
The Heat have won nine straight games overall, and 13 in a row on the road.
In their last game, a 107-100 overtime win in Portland Sunday night, LeBron James (44) and Dwyane Wade (34) combined for an incredible 78 points.
The Clippers are coming off an impressive 105-91 win at home over the Golden State Warriors, as Blake Griffin extended his impressive double-double streak to 23 games with his 23-point, 12-rebound effort.
His 23 consecutive double-doubles are a new team record.
Two key matchups to watch will be Griffin against Chris Bosh and Wade against Eric Gordon.
Bosh, often overshadowed by James and Wade, is averaging 18 points and eight rebounds per game on 50 percent shooting from the floor. He’s done well to overcome intense early-season criticism, and is having another solid season overall.
Gordon, the Clippers’ leading scorer averaging nearly 24 points per game, will certainly have his hands full with Wade.
Despite all of Miami’s impressive offensive firepower, defense is actually their calling card.
The Heat are second in the league in points allowed per game at just over 92, and lead the league in opponent’s field goal percentage.
Fortunately, considering the Clippers’ issues with turning the ball over, the Heat rank 24th in the league in that forcing them at just 13.7 per game.
Fireworks will certainly be in store tonight at Staples, and the Clippers will try and dethrone the King with a high-wire act of their own.
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