Despite a 30-point effort from LeBron James, the Miami Heat fell 107-100 to the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday night.
The game, as expected, was back and forth throughout the first half. Los Angeles managed to separate itself in the third quarter, though, winning the period 33-20 and pulling away entering the final frame.
The Clippers looked strong behind Chris Paul's 16-point, 10-assist performance, and he was far from alone. Blake Griffin dropped 20 points, snatched 14 rebounds and even dished out six assists himself. Adding 15 points from Caron Butler, 22 from Jamal Crawford and 12 from Eric Bledsoe, and the Clippers were clicking on all cylinders.
Miami failed to support LeBron for the most part. Chris Bosh, Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis all scored in double figures, but the rest of the team was stagnant at times.
Either way, it was exciting to see two top contenders battle it out early in the season.
For a complete look at the box score, check out NBA.com.
Player of the Game: Blake Griffin
When Griffin plays like this, very few teams will have an answer for him. He's still not a polished offensive player, but he's so athletic that it doesn't necessarily matter.
He's expected to haul down a double-double almost every night, but he's not expected to facilitate the offense to the tune of six assists. He showed his unique qualities Wednesday night, and Miami has no answer.
Griffin and DeAndre Jordan can give teams nightmares when they're used correctly, and tonight was a prime example of that.
What's Next for the Miami Heat?
The 6-3 Miami Heat will travel to face the Denver Nuggets for the second time this season on Thursday.
What's Next for the Los Angeles Clippers?
The 6-2 Clippers will host the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.