Moments after Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra announced pregame that Chris Bosh and Ray Allen would be sidelined by the flu, Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said his roster was back to full strength, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Chauncey Billups and Jamal Crawford again available. The Heat, of course, had LeBron James on their side, the NBA's ultimate neutralizer. Shorthanded but still equipped with the dynamic, nearly flawless presence of James, the Heat extend their home winning streak to six and improved to 21-3 at AmericanAirlines Arena with a 111-89 victory Friday night. While Paul and Griffin were less than their All-Star selves, James again was coolly efficient, making his first six shots and closing 9 of 11 from the field for 30 points. He also was cold-blooded. Almost literally. After taking a blow to the face from Clippers center DeAndre Jordan during the third quarter in what was ruled his only miss on an 8-for-9 start, James didn't even contest the ensuing jump ball with Jordan. Instead, on the next Heat possession he completed a four-point play. And on the possession after that, he drained a 3-pointer, as the Heat blew it open.
LeBron, flu-depleted Heat thrash Clippers
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | Feb 9