Mere hours before tip-off, the Miami Heat reportedly acquired and extended rumored Clipper-target Andre Iguodala. This news was just one transactional imprint upon a game distinctly colored by trade-deadline intrigue.

The Clippers received revelatory performances from Landry Shamet and Ivica Zubac to complement the usual star turns from Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in a fire-bombing 128-111 victory over the visiting Heat.

Recent reports indicated that the Knicks have sought Shamet in return for Marcus Morris, and while the second-year guard has been labeled untouchable in those talks, he emphasized his serious potential by scoring 14 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter. (You know, in case there was any doubt.) Shamet blitzed the Heat with 10 straight points at a critical juncture to slam a door the visitors were cracking slightly.

Shamet’s six made threes also paced the Clippers in a record-setting shooting performance. The Clippers addressed Miami’s zone defense with a long-range barrage, establishing new franchise marks for both threes made (24) and tried (54). Their 27 three-point heaves in the first two quarters made franchise history for a half.

Zubac, still playing under the pressure of near-daily rumors of his team’s search for an alleged upgrade at center, demonstrated his burgeoning pick-and-roll chemistry with Kawhi while expertly supervising the rim on defense. Much to the frustration of everyone but the opposing Heat, Zubac sat for too-long stretches in the second and fourth quarters, but his healthy box-score line (12 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks, 6-6 FG) and gaudy +14 rating piled on the evidence that the young Croatian should be playing more frequently.

Kawhi finished this game sporting the shiniest plus-minus rating (+24 in 31 minutes) and controlled it with a pace so deliberate you could mistake it for being at half-speed. Kawhi scored a modest 14 points, with 10 of his 13 field goal attempts coming from deep, but with nine assists and seven rebounds he flirted (sorta) with his second career triple-double less than two weeks after the Heat gave him his first.

Kawhi’s mastery of the offense was particularly crucial in the first half while Paul George sat with foul trouble. George picked up two fouls in his first five minutes and his third early in the second quarter. Fortunately, the long-limbed swingman returned to lead the Clippers in an explosive third quarter that flipped the score from a three-point halftime deficit to a 12-point lead at quarter’s end. George finished with 23 points, 10 assists, and a sparkling 5-for-7 mark from outside in just 26 minutes.

For the Heat, first-time All-Star Bam Adebayo starred across 40 minutes, showing off his versatile skillset by burning Clippers off the dribble and recording a nifty 22/11/6 line.

Derrick Jones Jr. began his dunk contest preparation early, sailing through the vast airspace conceded by the Clippers’ reserves. Jones led all Heat players with 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting, and that kind of conversion rate doesn’t come without a little generosity from your opponent.

Jimmy Butler was largely content to be the playmaker, not unlike his counterpart, Kawhi, recording seven assists but just 11 points before exiting with a shoulder injury in the third quarter. If his absence is to be a prolonged one, the Heat, already without Tyler Herro, Meyers Leonard, the reportedly traded Justise Winslow, and possibly soon-to-be-traded James Johnson and Dion Waiters, will be scouring the G-League for even more players.

Miami deployed just eight players for all the meaningful minutes in this one, and 17 of those minutes went to recently recalled Gabe Vincent. Vincent, who entered the game with just a single career minute played, announced his activation from the Pat Riley/Erik Spoelstra role-player factory with three consecutive three-point splashes. (Then he quickly returned to Earth — he didn’t make another bucket.)

The Heat, then, will eagerly welcome any and all new additions tomorrow to bolster their flagging roster. The Clippers, who earned their third straight victory, may also look substantially different in a few hours time. It’s doubtful that this one game swung the front office’s perception of any particular player, but performances like these may have provided one final push.

Notes:

  • Patrick Beverley left in the third quarter with a groin injury and didn’t return.
  • Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell each scored 14, looking typically effective on offense and equally ineffective on defense. Miami’s runs came primarily with those two sharing the floor. Heat bench ace Goran Dragic eviscerated them in the second quarter.
  • Eight Clippers scored in double-digits, including JaMychal Green (14) and Maurice Harkless (11).
  • Kelly Olynyk started in place of Meyers Leonard, who was unable to start for the first time this season and will reportedly sit for a couple weeks with an injured ankle.

213Hoops is an independent Los Angeles Clippers blog and fan community founded in February 2020 by a group of dedicated, long-time Clippers fans, writers, and podcasters.  You can support us by following us on twitter @213Hoops and subscribing to our Patreon for rewards and bonus content.

Thomas Wood

Thomas Wood

Writing about the Clippers since 2014 and also since 2019.

11 Comments

  • Avatar Ognjen Puljak says:

    Nice…everything seems up and going, gj

  • Avatar Labis86 says:

    And they extended Iggy for 2 years 30Million.

  • Avatar ChrisD says:

    The more I think about the trade deadline, the more I think the Clippers are going to shock everybody again, but this time it is by doing nothing. Everyone wants Robinson & McGruder traded or gone, but they are so bad and their contracts are so bad (not minimums) that it would take a 2nd rounder just to get rid of them, without getting anybody of any value back. And maybe that is a move we make, but who really wants either of them and a Detroit 2nd rounder? Who knows, I’d like Morris from the Knicks but hell no at the expense of Shamet (even with that being reported as the Knicks asking price I wonder because our team is so stealth in all their trades). We can win it all with this team… it will be interesting.

  • Avatar GrapOldschool like your dad says:

    So for some reason the comment section is saving the email and user name of other commenters open to the public. This is Drewslife1012 btw but his info was out fyi

  • Avatar Andrew Sedillo says:

    Pat Bev taking shots at Jimmy Butler on Twitter after the game wasn’t needed, Butler doesn’t need that motivation the next time we play each other.

  • Avatar LeeB3 says:

    Nice recap. Congrats on the new site

  • Avatar t0md0 says:

    What’s up with Pat Bev’s groin?? Wasn’t he out last time with a groin issue? This appears to be a nagging thing. They better get that shit right sooner rather than later before we head down the stretch. Wonder if he’ll still participate in the All Star festivities.. if not, I say just rest him.

  • Avatar G Rap says:

    Walton traded to hawks for cash
    We open up a roster spot for either trade or a buy out guy?

  • Avatar CLIPS4EVER says:

    Im glad Igudala went to Heat. At least he didn’t go to Lakers.

    • Avatar osamu says:

      Yep, a part of me wanting to get Iggy was definitely keeping him from joining the Lakers. Although with Memphis in the playoff hunt, I thought they wouldn’t buy him out, because they very easily could see Iggy in the 1st round as well.