Miami Heat Beats Clippers in Beijing
Created: 2012-10-12 13:36 EST
The sixth National Basketball Association (NBA) China Games lit up the MasterCard Center in Beijing as the resurgent Los Angeles Clippers took on the reigning champions Miami Heat on Thursday night.
At the end of a pulsating game, Heat trumped the Los Angeles Clippers 94-80 thanks to superstar LeBron James, who scored 20 points, five rebounds, five assists and one steal.
The sell-out crowd of 18,000 was on its feet as soon as the Heat pre-game took to the court with James and All-Star Dwyane Wade waving to fans. The pair was in the same arena where they won the 2008 Olympic gold medal for Team USA.
"It's exciting when watching the (NBA) games on television usually, but it is more thrilling when watching it live. I do not watch basketball very often, but I'm really excited after watching it today."
"There should be more seats available to make more people have the chance to share the game with us," said a fan at the center.
The Heat went to work from the start, with the first three-point shot coming from Shane Battier, a former teammate of Chinese superstar Yao Ming. And James delighted the crowd with a spectacle of dunks and jumps to put Heat in the lead with 29-18 at the end of the first quarter.
The Clippers closed the gap to 60-47 by the third quarter following six straight points scored by explosive power forward Blake Griffin midway through the quarter. However, a swift answer of two three-pointers by Miami's newly acquired Ray Allen doused the Clippers' hopes of a comeback.
Wade, who signed a lucrative shoe contract with China's Li Ning brand on Wednesday, scored five points throughout a 23-minute appearance, despite earlier announcing he would not play due to injury.
The Heat is scheduled to lock horns again with the Clippers, who are still without star point-guard Chris Paul, in Shanghai on Sunday before returning to the United States.