Chris Paul leads all players with 25 points and nine rebounds with Blake Griffin pitching in 18 for the Clippers. LeBron James and Mario Chalmers have 15 each, while Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade have each chipped in 13 to lead Miami.
Through three quarters, this game has been marked by fierce competition and a decided lack of any serious run one way or the other. So far, the game high run has been eight, by the Clippers in the second quarter to cut the Miami lead from 11 to three.
The two teams traded baskets for the first six minutes of the half, with the lead alternating between four and six points until Chris Paul hit a jumper from the top of the key to bring the Clippers to within two, at 60-58.
LeBron James had the answer at the other end, hitting a layup and getting fouled in the process, but he could not complete the three point play, missing his free throw attempt, and the lead remained at four.
Caron Butler cut the Heat lead to two, 65-63 with a three pointer as the shot clock expired with just over two minutes left in the third.
Chris Paul tied the score a minute later at 65 with a 16 footer. James answered with a layup at the other end, and CP3 again answered, this time with a layup and a foul, putting the Clippers up, 68-67.
The period ended with the Clippers on top by one, 70-69.