Last night, the LA Clippers played the Miami Heat to a sellout crowd at Beijing's MasterCard Center, with the Heat coming out on top 94-80. This is the sixth year the NBA has brought preseason action to Beijing and the first time a championship winning team has hit the court in China.
As expected, LeBron James dominated with a total of 20 points scored. He was also the fan favorite, taking his free throws to chants of "MVP" from the predominantly Chinese crowd. "I've played in front of these fans before, and the reception has always been great," James said after the game.
Ray Allen also shined in his first game with Miami after leaving the Celtics, nailing an impressive four 3-point shots towards a total contribution of 15 points. Dwyane Wade, making a tentative start back after knee surgery, only cleared 2 of 9 attempts.
Blake Griffin and Caron Butler led the pack for the Clippers, with 19 and 13 points scored respectively. "This is what the preseason is for, for us to get better on both ends of the floor, and for us to establish a better identity for ourselves as a team," Butler explained. "It was a great atmosphere for basketball."
On what it means for these players to be starting their season in China, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra made it clear that they're still on the job. "We want the training to be very serious. Our number one priority for our week out here is basketball." He added that the team did visit a few sites while in town, calling it a "great team bonding experience."
For more photos of the game, see our NBA photo gallery.
Video of the LA Clippers Stunt Slam Dunkers:
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