Paul shakes off awful start, leads L.A. past Heat

first_imgRedick made a layup on the game’s first possession and the Clippers proceeded to misfire on their next 14 shots, but recovered to win for the 11th time in their last 13 road games, most of that with Blake Griffin sidelined by injuries.“We’re just trying to hold it down until our big fella comes back,” Paul said.Miami went to the oft-used strategy of intentionally fouling Jordan in the third quarter to slow the Clippers’ offense. And while it worked to a point — Jordan went 3 for 10 from the free throw line in the quarter — Miami couldn’t score. The Heat were 4 for 20 in the third, got down by as many as 11 and never led again.“They made big plays down the stretch,” Wade said. “That’s the way we’ve been winning of late, so we can’t be mad at that. We got a little taste of our own medicine.”Austin Rivers out 4-6 weeks with broken left handClippers guard Austin Rivers is expected to miss four to six weeks with a broken left hand.Rivers was hurt during the Clippers’ home game against Minnesota on Wednesday, and the injury was originally diagnosed as a bruise. But when the pain persisted, further exams were performed, and the break was found.Rivers, the son of Clippers coach Doc Rivers, has averaged 8.1 points in about 22 minutes per game this season.The Clippers are still without forward Blake Griffin, first because of a torn left quad tendon and now also because of a broken right hand after he punched a team employee in January. The NBA is investigating that circumstances surrounding that incident, and the elder Rivers said Sunday he expects that probe to “be done pretty soon.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error J.J. Redick scored 14 points, Wesley Johnson had 10 and DeAndre Jordan and Cole Aldrich grabbed 11 rebounds each for the Clippers, who won despite a 1-for-15 start from the field and swept the two-game season series with Miami.“That was a team win because nobody really had it going,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “But our defense really had it going all game.”Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic all scored 17 points for Miami. Luol Deng added 15 points for the Heat, and Hassan Whiteside finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.“They did to us what we’ve been doing the last few games, just grinding an opponent,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “That’s what they did to us, then made the bigger plays down the stretch.”Paul was 0 for 7 in the opening period, the worst one-quarter shooting performance of his NBA career, and was 0 for 9 before he finally got a shot to fall. But his 3-pointers in the fourth snuffed out a Miami rally, and his lob that set up Jordan for a dunk was the clincher for the Clippers — who, after that horrid start, shot 55 percent the rest of the way.center_img MIAMI >> Chris Paul had the worst possible start to his shooting day.His finish, however, was perfect.Paul’s consecutive 3-pointers in the final minutes were daggers to a Miami comeback, and his game-high 22 points helped the Los Angeles Clippers hang on to beat the Heat 100-93 on Sunday.“I kept shooting it,” Paul said, “because sooner or later it had to go in.”last_img read more