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Clippers lose, 94-80, to Miami in Beijing

Blake Griffin leads the Clippers with 19 points and eight rebounds. Jamal Crawford added 16 points and three steals off the bench.

October 12, 2012|By Tommy Yang
  • The Clippers' Blake Griffin vies with the Heat's Josh Harrellson during their NBA China Games basketball game in Beijing on Thursday.
The Clippers' Blake Griffin vies with the Heat's Josh Harrellson… (Ed Jones / Getty Images )

BEIJING — LeBron James scored 20 points and the Miami Heat cruised past the Clippers, 94-80, on Thursday in an NBA preseason game in China.

Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 19 points and eight rebounds.

The NBA champion Heat will play the Clippers again Sunday in Shanghai.

Thursday night's game was played in front of a sold-out crowd of 17,006 in downtown Beijing and many in the arena wore jerseys of James and Dwyane Wade.

The Clippers were sluggish in the first half and failed to put on a "great show" as Griffin promised when he acknowledged the excited crowd before the game.

Ray Allen had 15 points off the bench for Miami, as he hit four three-pointers. Wade played in his first preseason game after surgery on his left knee but shot just two for nine, finishing with five points.

But two preseason games into his tenure with the Clippers, guard Jamal Crawford is showing why he might be an important addition off the bench this season.

Crawford finished with 16 points and three steals in 31 minutes.

After their lack of experience was exposed in last season's playoff run, the Clippers added veterans Crawford, Lamar Odom, Matt Barnes, Ronny Turiaf and Grant Hill to their roster in the off-season.

Crawford checked into the game Thursday with 4:46 left in the first quarter and made a buzzer-beating three-pointer over Wade in his first minute.

But when Crawford, Odom and Hill were on the court at the same time, the Clippers were sloppy in their handling of the ball, and it led to turnovers in consecutive possessions.

"We gotta do something out here!" a frustrated Crawford shouted at Odom, who checked into the game with him.

The Clippers fell behind by as much as 27 points late in the second quarter.

Odom was scoreless in 16 minutes of play. Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, who spent the summer working on his offensive skills, missed nine of 10 free-throws Thursday.

"Still lot of room for improvement," Crawford tweeted after the game. "No Worries, it will happen!"

Taking better care of the ball and cutting down on turnovers would be a good start. The Clippers had a whopping 25 turnovers in the game, compared with only 12 for Miami.

Yang is a news assistant in The Times' Beijing bureau.

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