The Clippers were outscored 30-8 in the fourth quarter and also lost coach Doc Rivers to an ejection during a 121-98 loss to the Miami Heat on Saturday night.
Rivers was tossed after getting two quick technical fouls during a 25-2 run by the Heat.
“I can’t explain the techs. Listen, I can’t explain them,” he said. “I’ve been in the league a long time. I was saying that’s awful. I was saying that. I didn’t know you got a tech when the official is on the other side of the floor, the other side of the court.”
The cheers from Heat fans began in the first quarter, when Dwyane Wade entered the game. It was his 1,000th game in an NBA career that’s coming to an end after this season.
And then Wade proceeded to give Heat fans more to cheer about, scoring 16 points in the first half, his effort a big reason why the Heat opened a 13-point lead.
But the Clippers roared back behind Tobias Harris and Lou Williams. Harris dunked over Kelly Olynyk while being fouled, then made the free throw for a three-point play. Seconds later, Williams scored while being fouled. He also completed a three-point play that helped the Clippers climb back to within 65-62 at halftime.
The Clippers had their patience tested late in the fourth quarter because several calls didn’t go their way.
Williams lost the ball, but he thought he was fouled. Instead, Patrick Beverley was called for a clear-path foul against Wade, who made both free throws.
Then, after Bam Adebayo tipped in a shot the Clippers thought was offensive goaltending, Harris was called for a technical foul, leading to a free throw by Rodney McGruder for an 85-80 Heat lead.
But the Clippers recovered from that, even taking a 90-87 lead.
It was the Heat’s turn to recover, doing so by scoring four straight points to end the third quarter, including a length-of-court drive by James Johnson that gave the Heat a 91-90 lead.