The Miami Heat drop a tough one at home to the L.A. Clippers

Rodney McGruder #19 of the LA Clippers plays defense during the game against the Miami Heat (Photo by Oscar Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Rodney McGruder #19 of the LA Clippers plays defense during the game against the Miami Heat (Photo by Oscar Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat have been nearly flawless in Miami, only dropping one game so far on their home floor. Could they maintain it as they welcomed in the Clippers?

The Miami Heat came into Friday night’s massive showdown with the L.A. Clippers nearly flawless on their own court. Having only lost one game all year in South Beach, they would at least have that on their side.

With the phrase “at least”, it points to the fact that mere hours before the contest was set to tip-off, word started to spread around that the Miami Heat would be without two of their best players on the season so far in Kendrick Nunn and Goran Dragic. This, of course, is on top of the several guys that were already set to be out, due to injury or being on assignment in Sioux Falls with the Miami Heat’s G-League affiliate in the Skyforce.

The game started out all in the Miami Heat’s favor, with them shooting the lights out and getting out to an early and rather heft double-digit lead. The L.A. team would eventually fight their way back into the game, only going into the halftime break down by three.

The game started to turn in the Clippers’ favor moving through the third quarter and for much of the fourth. They eventually got out to a 15 point lead of their own, before the Miami Heat closed to within three points with less than two minutes left in the game. The Miami Heat made good plays down the stretch that saw them have a chance to take this game in the end, but the Clippers were inevitably just too much.

There are a few things of note that occurred in this contest though. As mentioned, Goran Dragic and Kendrick Nunn were out for the Heat on Friday, so their situation is definitely one to monitor.

Jimmy Butler went down with an ankle injury near the end of the game that saw him fail to return, so that’s also something to keep an eye on with huge games coming up right around the corner. The Miami Heat and fans also saw the reemergence of Philly Cheese as well on Friday. Dion Waiters made his first appearance all season and you know what, he played really really well.

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The Miami Heat played them close, and this was without Goran, Kendrick, and Jimmy near the end, but the Clippers were of course without Patrick Beverley and Paul George as well. Those are all things to chomp on as we continue to move throughout the season. While we wish things would have gone the other way, this wasn’t awful and the Miami Heat have proven that they can at least hang with one of, if not the best team in the entire NBA.