We all knew heading into the matchup between the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Clippers that this was going to be a fun one to watch. Both teams have athletes who can get out and run; both have put up a ton of points early in the year, and both are sharing the ball well in transition.
Both of these squads are going to compete for a top seed in their respective conferences in 2013, but it's the Clippers who came out of this one with a 107-100 victory.
The first play of the contest saw LeBron James take advantage of extremely poor defense. He ended up with a wide-open finish at the rim, where the three closest Clippers had their backs facing his way. Los Angeles quickly got it together, though, as they forced two quick turnovers and went on an 8-0 run.
The first quarter saw a lot of easy offense for both sides, but it also featured 11 turnovers between the two teams—seven belonging to the Heat. The Clippers led by one at the end of the period, and they entered the second quarter with a defensive energy we haven’t seen from either team up to that point. The rest of the first half would go back and forth, as Miami would go on top 54-52 heading into the third quarter.
The second half began in familiar fashion, as both teams came out willing to push the tempo and attack the basket. It was an evenly matched quarter almost the entire way through, but then Chris Paul finally got involved offensively, and he helped push the Clippers ahead by nine heading into the game's final period.
Momentum was in L.A.'s favor to begin the final quarter, and they took full advantage of that with an early 10-2 run. The game would slowly even back out, forcing Los Angeles to bring their starters back with three minutes remaining, but the lead was too much to overcome for the Heat, as they couldn't make up enough ground late in the contest.