Miami forward LeBron James questions a call during the second half of the… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)
Elephant hunting with the Clippers...
Here they come!
And there they went.
The Clippers were always the ones squashed flat at the bottom of the giant footstep, until Wednesday night when they rocked the mighty Miami Heat's world...
For one quarter, anyway.
That was the first, when they scored 44 points in one of their Clipper Air Force flyovers, went on to lead by 21 points, then saw the Heat wipe the lead out.
I guess you know what comes next.
With the lead cut to 94-92 with 6:35 when a limping LeBron James made a three-pointer, the Clippers went on a 14-7 run, held the Heat off at the end … and won, 111-105!
It was the Clippers' 13th win of a season they started 5-21 before winning eight of their last 11.
More than that, it was the game that showed what they really can be, as opposed to the same would-have, could-have, injured, cursed outfit that has haunted Staples Center for the last decade.
"They're so athletic, they can make it look easy at the rim," Miami Coach Erik Spoelstra said of the Clippers,.
"They absolutely blitzed us to start the game. We looked like we were running in mud."
Said Chris Bosh of Blake Griffin, who had 24 points and 14 rebounds: "It's scary how good he could be."
The night started in Miami's usual style, with James trying to quell the latest controversy about something he said, tweeted or announced on a TV special.
This one was his tweet after the Lakers' 112-57 victory over the Cavaliers, his former teammates:
"Crazy. Karma is a ... Gets you every time. Its [sic] not good to wish bad on anybody. God sees everything!"
Funny he should use that word, karma.
Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert used it too, in his rambling denunciation of James, asserting he would take any curse on Cleveland with him.
Or as Gilbert put it:
"The self-declared former 'King' will be taking the 'curse' with him down south. And until he does 'right' by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma."
Actually, Miami has yet to feel the effects of the curse.
And, of course, James said he meant nothing by it and has moved on … even if he backtracks now and then.
"No hate toward that organization," he said before the game, not calling the Cavaliers by name.
"I've moved on. Hopefully, that organization will continue to move on, but I'm happy where I am as a Miami Heat player...
"It was just how I was feeling at the time. It wasn't even a comment from me, it was something somebody sent me and I sent it out, so..."
So, whoever in the entourage sent him that text so he could post it, good thinking.
The Clippers then put an amazing show, running up 44 points in a spectacular first quarter with Griffin flying, Eric Gordon bombing, Baron Davis dealing and DeAndre Jordan dunking.
In an unofficial poll, broadcasters Don MacLean, Michael Eaves and I decided it had to be the greatest quarter in Clippers history.
Of course, in other teams' histories, they keep track of seasons, not quarters.
After that, what figured to happen, happened.
The Heat got control of the runaway Clippers offense, holding them to 24 points in the second quarter and 18 in the third.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Miami cut it to 97-95 when James drove, had the ball batted away by Al-Farouq Aminu, fell out of bounds, got up limping, hopped back onto the floor, found himself trapped in the corner with the ball and the 24-second clock running out … and knocked in a three-pointer.
Then something amazing happened.
The Heat was spent.
The Clippers had more left, especially in the way of hunger.
So now, as the Clippers look around, who else's world can they shock?
Oh, they play the Lakers here Sunday.