When the Heat find their extra gear, very few teams in this league are capable of beating them. Trying to deal with that barrage on the second day of a back-to-back only makes it that much more difficult to punch back for the full 48 minutes.
On Thursday night, the Clippers couldn't last long enough, and Miami poured it on in the second half of a 102-97 win.
The Heat shot 54 percent for the game, but it was their championship-level defense in the second half that made the difference. Opponents are piling points on the Clippers these days, but not many have been able to slow them down offensively. Miami's blitzing scheme isn't like most, however, and it was brilliant after halftime.
The Heat held Los Angeles to just 41 points in the final two quarters, and a late Clippers run fell short as they appeared to run a little low on gas.
Chris Paul was swarmed into a 3-for-11 shooting night, and the Clippers committed 17 turnovers in their second consecutive loss. While the Heat showed that second level of play they're capable of reaching, it's difficult to take too much out of this from the L.A. angle. There might not be a less desirable situation in the league than having to head to Miami after playing the night before, but the Clippers kept it close.