LeBron James and the Miami Heat opened up a double-digit lead on the Los Angeles Clippers in the second quarter on Friday night and never looked back, as the defending NBA champions went on to cruise at home 111-89.
After a hard-fought first quarter, which Miami led 30-29, the Heat (33-14) began to flex their offensive muscles, spacing the floor and knocking down shot after shot to extend their lead.
Minutes into the third quarter, Miami's 12-point halftime lead had ballooned to 30, and ESPN's telecast was looking more like a LeBron James highlight reel and less like a prime-time heavyweight NBA showdown.
The Heat's impressive win was highlighted by 15-of-27 shooting from beyond the arc as a team. The long-range shots were falling all night, and early on in the second half, it became clear that the Clippers (35-17) didn't have the firepower to contend.
Player of the Game: LeBron James, Miami Heat
The reigning NBA Finals MVP, LeBron James was sensational on Friday night, scoring, passing and rebounding as if his life depended on it.
James scored 30 points on 9-of-11 shooting in the blowout win, powering the East's No. 1 team with four big-time three-pointers. James would finish the game with 30 points, six assists, five rebounds and two blocks in 31 minutes of action.
LeBron's phenomenal night included an 8-of-11 effort at the free-throw line, as well as a rare four-point play in the third quarter.
Up Next for the Clippers
The Clippers are now 1-4 on their current East Coast road trip and will continue their trip on Sunday in New York against the Knicks before concluding it Monday in Philadelphia. Chris Paul and Co. will then host Houston on Wednesday and visit the L.A. Lakers on Thursday before the All-Star break.
With the loss to Miami, L.A. falls four-and-a-half games behind San Antonio and four games back of Oklahoma City for first and second, respectively, in the Western Conference standings.
Up Next for the Heat
Friday night's victory marks Miami's fourth straight overall. Now, the Heat are firing on all cylinders headed into Sunday afternoon's much-anticipated matchup with the struggling Los Angeles Lakers.
Following their showdown with the Lake Show this weekend, the Heat will host Portland on Tuesday before hitting the road to play Oklahoma City in their final game before the All-Star break. With the win over the Clippers, the Heat maintain their one-and-a-half game lead over the Knicks in the Eastern Conference standings.