The last time the Miami Heat faced the Los Angeles Clippers, it fell to the leagues bottom dwellers by a score of 97-96. A one-point loss to one of the leagues worst teams is never easy to swallow, especially when the loss comes courtesy of an inadvertent whistle from a referee. With 1:24 left to play, the Clippers took a 97-89 lead thanks to back-to-back shots from guard Baron Davis. Dwyane Wade answered by slashing to the basket and scoring a layup, and then a three-pointer on the following possession, cutting the lead to one.
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With just second seconds remaining, Wade stole Daviss inbound pass. Before stumbling out of bounds, D-Wade threw the ball up court to Udonis Haslem, who made the shot, giving the Heat the 98-97 win. But the shot was nullified when ref Greg Willard blew the whistle before Wade could get off the pass. The explanation given was that prior to passing the ball, Wade bumped into ref Courtney Kirkland. We were breaking to the basket, Haslem later told the press. I don't even know why the whistle was blown. This Monday night at the American Airlines Arena, the Heat plays the Clippers for the second and last time of the season. Expect the proverbial Referees suck! chant to fill the air. Tip-off is at 7:30. Tickets range from $10 to $350 and can be purchased at nba.com/heat.
Mon., Feb. 2, 2009