The last time they faced the Los Angeles Clippers, the Miami Heat fell to the leagues bottom dwellers by a score of 97-96. A one-point loss to one of the worst teams in basketball is never easy to swallow, especially when the loss comes courtesy of an inadvertent whistle from the referees. 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 lay-up, and then a 3-pointer on the following possession, cutting the lead to one.
With just 7-seconds remaining, Davis inbound pass was stolen by Wade. Before stumbling out of bounds, D-Wade threw the ball upcourt to Udonis Haslem, who made the shot, giving the Heat the 98-97 win. But, the shot was nullified when referee Greg Willard blew the whistle before Wade could get the pass off. The explanation given was that prior to passing the ball, Wade bumped into referee Courtney Kirkland. "We were breaking to the basket, Haslem later told the press. I don't even know why the whistle was blown.
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Tonight at the American Airlines Arena (601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami), the Heat play the Clippers for the second and last time of the season. Expect the proverbial Referees Suck! chant to fill the air. Tipoff is at 7:30. Tickets range from $10 to $350, and can be purchased at nba.com/heat.
Mon., Feb. 2, 7:30 p.m., 2009