BEST OF LAST NIGHT: Eric Bledsoe’s block
WORST OF THE NIGHT: Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh combined to shoot 5 of 23 from the field. DeAndre Jordan played well against Bosh and Wade suffered from a sore left foot.
NIGHTLY NUMBER: 1
As in, the scoring total of the Clippers’ starters in the fourth quarter.
LINE OF THE NIGHT: Jamal Crawford had 22 points off the bench in 23 minutes. He was 7 of 11 from the field, 2 of 4 from the three-point line and 6 of 6 from the free-throw line. He also had two rebounds, two assists, three steals and six turnovers.
WHERE THE NIGHT TURNED: The Clippers outscored the Heat 33-20 in the first quarter. Clippers guard Chris Paul scored 13 straight points to end the period. His back-to-back three-pointers made it an early night for Los Angeles.
THEY SAID IT
“We know and respect what these guys are about. We view them as legitimate contenders for the title and they were that last year. They proved that with their offseason. They played a good game and beat us fair and square.”
LEBRON JAMES on Chris Paul
“He is a big-time player and he’s aware of what’s happening on the floor. He knows the tempo of the game, he knows the score, he’s always aware of when he needs to pick his point and pick his shots. That’s why I’ve always felt like he’s the best point guard in the NBA.”
DWYANE WADE on Erik Bledsoe
“Bledsoe is very good; he’s really coming into his own with his athletic abilities and his penetration. They did a good job and that’s the one thing that they worked on this summer was making their team deeper. This is a good team.”
“It’s early. I think for us we just try to take it one day at a time. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. We just want to keep playing the right way. It’s a team effort every night. Everybody is working hard and playing together. I know they ended with 100, but our defense in the second half is what got us the win.”
ERIC BLEDSOE on his block
“Dwyane is a great dunker and I didn’t know if I was going to be able to block him or not. I just tried to get the ball back and ended up blocking him.”
“We are trying to forget about sustained personal success and succeed as a team. If we can handle that, it will be fun.”
LeBron James ended with some big numbers but his points in the fourth quarter (nine) came after the game was already decided. Blake Griffin outplayed James in the block, scoring 20 points to go along with 14 rebounds (four offensive). Mario Chalmers had a regretful game on the same day People Magazine named him the sexiest man in Alaska. That last bit has nothing to do with analysis of a basketball game, but I had to throw it in. Chalmers had just as many fouls as points (five) in 29 minutes. He was grossly outplayed by Paul, who finished with 16 points and 10 assists.
ABOUT THE OTHER GUYS
Another serious contender in the West and another loss for the Heat. The Clippers seem to have it all with DeAndre Jordan playing so well.