LOS ANGELES, CA – Entering the game short-handed and without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Los Angeles Clippers extended their winning streak to four games and defeated the Miami Heat 125-118 on Monday night at Staples Center. The Clippers remain a perfect 5-0 on the second night of back-to-back games with the victory.
With key players Nicolas Batum and Patrick Beverley on the sideline as well, head coach Tyronn Lue had to turn to a senior to pick up the slack in the starting lineup.
Inserted into the starting line-up for the first time this season, Marcus Morris Sr. answered the call and scored a season-high in points as the veteran proved he still has that knack for scoring. Getting off to a scorching hot first half, the forward scored 26 of his 32 points while hitting six of his first seven three-point attempts to start the game.
During the pre-game press conference, Lu emphasized the chemistry between Morris and Lou Williams factoring into him getting the start tonight.
“We want to get off to a good start against a good Miami team so we started Marcus,” said Lu. “But especially starting Lou, Lou and Marcus have that chemistry together as well so having those two guys together on the court to start to try and get us off to a good start against a good Miami team.”
Jimmy Butler led the Heat with a triple-double as he recorded 30 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds as the forward continues his steady play since returning from his month-long absence due to the coronavirus.
In a matchup where both teams are going in the opposite direction health-wise, the Clippers role players stepped up huge. With six different players scoring ten plus points, including 15 points from recently called up G-League shooting guard Amir Coffey who went 4-4 from the three-point line in the second quarter. Guard Terance Mann and center Ivica Zubac each ended the night with a season-high in points, with 15 and 22 respectfully.
As a unit the Clippers could not miss from beyond the arc, hitting 15 out of 32 threes which was good for a 47% clip, a trend that has continued for the team following the first game of a back-to-back in which they nearly average 50% from three the second night around.
The Clippers will continue their week-long homestand on Wednesday night as they take on the red-hot Utah Jazz in the first of two back-to-back games against the Western Conference leaders.
The Jazz enters the game having won 19 of their last 20 games, including an eight-game win streak coming into Wednesday’s matchup. Utah defeated the Clippers 106-100 in the team’s first meeting in Salt Lake City back on New Year’s Day
Editor’s note: Featured image of Los Angeles Clippers center Serge Ibaka with a field goal attempt against the Miami Heat on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, is credited to Mark Hammond for News4usonline