COACHING CHANGES EXPANDED MATCHUPS DEPTH CHARTS CURRENT ODDS
James, Heat rout Clippers
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Clippers had their starting core together for the first time in more than two months, and the lack of court time together showed.
LeBron James and the Miami Heat spoiled the return to action for Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Chauncey Billups, with the reigning NBA MVP racking up 30 points in just 31 minutes to lead the defending champions to a 111-89 rout of the struggling Clippers at American Airlines Arena.
James added six assists while going 9-of-11 from the field and 4-of-5 from 3- point range, while Dwyane Wade shook off a flu bug to record 20 points and seven assists in a game the Heat dominated from the second quarter on.
Wade was questionable to play in the contest due to the illness, which rendered both All-Star center Chris Bosh and top bench option Ray Allen inactive.
Neither was needed in this one, however, as Miami made 52.9 percent of its field goal attempts and knocked down 15 shots from beyond the arc en route to a fourth straight win -- with James putting up at least 30 points in each of those victories.
Mario Chalmers accounted for five of the Heat's triples in an 18-point effort, with Shane Battier hitting four on five tries while finishing with 12 points.
Paul returned from a nine-game absence caused by a bone bruise in his right knee, but managed just three points on 1-of-5 shooting in 20 minutes. Billups, playing for the first time since early December due to an inflamed tendon in his left foot, had seven points in 16 minutes.
Griffin, who had sat out Los Angeles' last two outings with a hamstring injury, made 5-of-7 field goals in a 13-point performance that wasn't nearly enough to prevent the Clippers from their fourth setback in five games.
DeAndre Jordan paced Los Angeles with 17 points, with Jamal Crawford netting 13 in defeat.
02/08 22:55:21 ET