It looked like it was going to be a typical night for the Clippers. The team learned before the game that Chris Kaman would not play due to a strained arch, and Baron Davis was fighting off the stomach flu, so just how productive he was going to be was up in the air as well. But Baron played just fine, and Zach Randolph had a big game so L.A. was able to get a close 97-96 win over the Miami Heat at Staples Center.
Randolph put up the kind of numbers that the Knicks were getting used to before they traded him to L.A. He finished with 27 points and 13 rebounds, and even hit a three-pointer as part of his 10-point fourth quarter. Baron Davis had 15 points and nine assists, but didn't shoot the ball too well, going just 6-for-21 from the field, and hitting just one of his seven three-point attempts. He did, however, hit a jumper that put his team up 97-89 with under 1:30 to play. But as Clippers fans know all too well, no lead is safe, and it was a struggle for the team to hold onto this one.
Baron Davis almost looked like he was trying to give the game away in the final few possessions. After Dwyane Wade scored to cut the lead to six, Baron missed a long three-pointer, and Wade came down and hit a three to cut the Clipper lead to just three with under a minute to play. After the Clippers used most of the shot clock on their next possession, Davis missed another three, and the Heat came down and scored with seven seconds left, cutting the L.A. lead to one.
Davis then had a pass "stolen" by Wade, although initially the officials ruled that Wade had made contact with the official out of bounds. After a lengthy discussion, the referees conferenced and "overturned" the initial call, but they still gave it to the Heat to inbound. It was a correct call the first time; it should have been the Clippers' ball. But the refs ended up giving the Heat one final possession, and a chance to finish their incredibly speedy comeback. Thankfully for the Clips, Wade's three-point attempt fell short, and L.A. escaped with a one-point victory, just their third of the season.
On the injury front, rookie Eric Gordon left the game in the third quarter with a pulled hamstring, and the extent of his injury is not yet known. Kaman's strained arch is at least a little bit serious, and he's not expected to travel with the team on their upcoming four-game road trip. He's expected to be out about two weeks.