Heat 113, Clippers 108, OT
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Rookie Sherman Douglas scored nine of his career-high 33 points in overtime Wednesday night as the Miami Heat beat the Los Angeles Clippers for the fifth straight time, 113-108, and ended a nine-game road losing streak.
Rookie Glen Rice added 24 points and Kevin Edwards 21 for Miami, which won for only the sixth time in 31 road games this season. It was the 15th victory of the season for the second-year expansion, equaling its entire total for 1988-89.
Danny Manning scored 28 points and Winston Garland 20 for the Clippers, who played without forward Charles Smith, out with an hyperextended left knee.
After Benoit Benjamin’s two free throws cut the Clippers’ deficit to 109-108 with a minute left in the extra period, Ken Norman blocked a jumper by Douglas and the Clippers called a timeout with 26.4 seconds to play.
But Tom Garrick couldn’t get off a shot on a drive down the lane and Douglas capped a fast break with the winning basket. He then stole the ball from Manning at midcourt on the ensuing inbounds play and clinched the victory with a pair of free throws.
″Statistically, I’d say it was my best game of the year,″ said Edwards, who shot 14-for-26 from the field but only 5-for-12 from the foul line. ″The win was very important for us - especially after the way we played last night (in a 34-point loss at Sacramento.) We had to come back in the second half.″
Douglas, who missed a 15-footer in the closing seconds of regulation that would have won the game, made one of two free throws to put Miami in front 103-102 with 3:50 left in the overtime. Rice’s backcourt interception of a Ken Norman pass led to a 15-footer from the lane by Douglas 40 seconds later, giving the Heat a three-point margin.
″It was a bad loss,″ Garrick said. ″We had a great flow in the first half and they caught us in overtime.″
Edwards hit the first 3-pointer of the game for either team to bring Miami within a point, and Edwards’ interception of a Garrick pass led to a three- point play by rookie Terry Davis that gave Miami a 100-98 edge. The Clippers’ Benoit Benjamin got a basket on a goaltending call against Billy Thompson to tie the score 100-100 with 25.8 seconds left before Douglas got his chance to end it in regulation.
The lead changed hands nine times in the first nine minutes of the fourth quarter before Manning’s layin with 2:47 remaining put Los Angeles ahead 95-94. After Douglas’ alley-oop pass banked off the glass, Winston Garland hit a layin and Benjamin made one of two free throws to extend the Clippers’ margin to 97-94 with 1:23 left.
″We didn’t do what we did in the first half ... the things that got us the lead in the first place,″ Manning said. ″This is the NBA, and they came out hard in the second half.″
Sloppy play by the Clippers at the end of the third quarter and 10 points each by the backcourt tandem of Douglas and Edwards helped Miami reduce a 16- point halftime deficit to 79-76.
″Our defense picked up in the second half,″ Douglas said. ″We gave up 60 points in the first half, and we just buckled down defensively and played real hard.″
After the Heat narrowed the gap to 10 points on Douglas’ baseline jumper, Manning hit four jumpers in less than two minutes and added a 12-footer that put Los Angeles ahead 76-60 with 5:17 left in the third. But teammate Ken Bannister missed four straight free throws in a 90-second span as the Heat rallied within 79-73 on a tip-in by rookie Terry Davis with 39 seconds left in the period.
Wolf, thinking time was running out in the quarter, launched an errant 3- point shot from midcourt with 14 seconds left. Douglas made one of two free throws for the Heat before Clippers guard David Rivers turned the ball over in the backcourt. Davis was fouled by Manning and missed both free throws, but Douglas got the offensive rebound and put it in with 1.6 seconds on the clock.
″The most important thing was the way we defended in the second half and our execution in the half court,″ Miami coach Ron Rothstein said. ″We had no zip in the first half, but we did a good job of sharing the ball later on. And, when you do that, you have a chance to win.″
Manning led Los Angeles to a 60-44 halftime lead with 14 points, 10 of them in the second quarter as the Clippers built their biggest lead of the game to 52-31 with 5:06 left in the half. They did it with 12-2 spurt, highlighted by Manning’s pair of three-point plays 56 seconds apart and climaxed by Ken Norman’s driving layup.
The Heat responded with eight of the next 10 points, but Manning blocked a layup by Douglas and took a pass from Garland at the other end for a layup that helped temper Miami’s momentum and restore the Los Angeles margin to 56-39 with 2 1/2 minutes left in the half.
The Clippers - who were routed by 35 points and lost starting guard Gary Grant for the season with a broken ankle the last time the two teams met in Miami - began this one with a 10-2 run. They led 26-19 by the end of the first quarter as Miami missed 15 or 23 shots and Wolf ended the period with a pair of free throws and a 16-foot baseline jumper.