LOS ANGELES — Just when it looked like the Clippers would overtake the Heat, Ray Allen threw up a dagger.
The Heat sharpshooter, quiet for most of the evening, took a Dwyane Wade pass and buried a 3-pointer from the corner — and the Clippers rally along with it — in the game’s final minute en route to a 116-112 victory on Wednesday night.
At the time, Los Angeles had rallied to within two (109-107 with 1:04 remaining) before a timeout set up the final shot by Allen, the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-pointers.
It was as close as the Clippers would get.
"Let me just say, when he (Allen) caught it, I knew nothing good was about to happen," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.
"It was a great pass," said Allen, who finished with 15 points on 2-of-5 from behind the arc.
"It was little bit of a broken play," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra added. "Wade drove into the paint and was able to find Ray with a great pass and Ray does what we does in the fourth quarter as well as anyone in this league."
"We had so many chances to let just go of the rope during the game, and I thought we kept fighting, which in the long run (is) going to be good for our team," added the first-year Clippers coach.
On a night when all-around wiz LeBron James was two rebounds shy of a triple-double (31 points, 12 assists, eight boards), guarded nearly everyone on L.A.’s roster and sported some nifty yellow shoes, the Heat (35-13) and Clippers (34-18) treated the crowd to several highlight-reel dunks in a highly-physical matchup.
"It’s a battle, we expected that coming in here regardless of whether Paul was playing or not," Spoelstra added. "It’s not easy to win on the road, but what we talked about, was just finding a way and showing some resolve throughout the ups and downs.