Down 35-27 after a Jason Kapono jumper, Sam Cassell brings the ball up for the Clippers.  Sam gets it over to Thomas on the left wing. The Heat appear to be in a 2-3.  Walker immediately comes up to double Thomas to deny the entry pass. I guess that was Walker's unstated purpose.  He's such a godawful basketball player, you never know.  Thomas tosses a nice lob entry pass into Elton at EB's spot on the left post.  EB turns toward the lane with a single dribble, but 'Zo meets him immediately at about 8-9 feet.  EB stops.  And - this is they key - rather than hesitate or look to send it back out to the perimeter, Elton goes directly at Mourning, initiating contact, thereby creating just enough space for himself. EB then goes up strong for the bucket to cut the Miami lead to six. 

At this point - 6:18 in the second quarter - EB has only five points.  In the final 30 minutes of the game, EB goes 11-16 from the field, 6-7 from the line for 28 points.  He's all over the glass on both ends, against a beastly Miami front line of Mourning-Haslam and the long Posey, who played most of the second half.  Though Mobley was hot in his own right, Elton's asserted presence down low opened up inordinate amounts of space on the wings for Cat to go to work - and he did, to the tune of 21 points, most of them open perimeter jumpers rather than the post-then-step-off-the-block stuff we usually see. Ultimately, though, it all goes back to Elton's willingness to push toward the basket on his first move rather than falling away from the hoop.  As Dave D'Alessandro once said in a critique of Chris Webber, power forward is not a finesse position.  Sure, EB's tenacity on the offensive glass has been there all year, but this was one of the first occasions - including some of his other efficient games - in which Elton bumped, pushed, and forced his way to the hoop against man defense in the paint. 

Shaun had another quality game, though he was less effective in the second half.  One of the unintended consequences of being a kid who hasn't yet emerged as an offensive threat is that you draw guys like Jason Williams as your defender.  Shaun is finally figuring out that he can take 75% of his defenders off the dribble whenever he wants to.  And when EB has pulled the post defense to the weak side, there's absolutely no way they can collapse on a driving Livingston quickly enough.  Shaun finished with two driving layups and three 16-foot jump shots.  He seems to be using glass these days - not that there's anything wrong with that. 

Until his 14-point insanity began in the fourth quarter, Wade seemed to be held reasonably in check by the Clippers - Ross and Livingston most prominently.  The traps on the wing worked for the most part, and both Q and Shaun effectively limited Wade's penetration most of the first three quarters.  The two of them blocked collectively six shots and the Clippers finished with a ghastly 11 for the game.  37 Miami field goals/11 Clippers blocked shots - a stellar ratio.  Despite the strong job on Wade, the Clippers lapses on their help defense were awful.  Throughout the second quarter, the Clips got lucky that Miami couldn't find the hoop with a searchlight because there were so many open corner jumpers.  From the looks of it, Sam was the primary culprit, but EB, Thomas, Corey...everyone really...shares in the blame.  A sharpshooting team would've destroyed the Clippers from the field; fortunately, the Clips got off easy.

It wasn't the Clips most impressive win of the year, nor was it the most complete victory, but more times than not, good teams ride their best players to wins at home.  That's how the league works.  And the Clips used that formula for the W.