- Associated Press - Sunday, January 8, 2017

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Down one of their starting guards, the Los Angeles Clippers got more than enough from J.J. Redick and Chris Paul.

Redick scored 25 points and Paul had 19 points, 18 assists and one turnover and Los Angeles beat the Miami Heat 98-86 on Sunday for its fourth straight victory.

DeAndre Jordan added 18 rebounds to help keep the Clippers unbeaten in the new year after they closed 2016 on a six-game skid.

“We had a rough stretch,” Jordan said. “We’re getting back to defense and we’re rebounding the ball better as a team. Getting our (rear) kicked a couple times helped.”

Goran Dragic scored 24 points, and Hassan Whiteside had 15 points and 13 rebounds for Miami in his return after missing four games with a right retinal contusion. The Heat shot 37 percent and had three technical fouls.

“The issue was Chris Paul facilitating and J.J. Redick coming off picks,” Whiteside said. “I don’t remember him missing too often. He was making a lot of tough shots. He really was hurting us.”

With starter Austin Rivers out because of the flu and backup guard Jamal Crawford going 1 of 12, Redick and Paul carried the load offensively.

The Clippers broke it open with a 43-21 run that spanned the second and third quarters. Redick scored 14 points and Paul added 12 as they stretched the lead from one point to 23 points. Redick hit three 3-pointers and Paul added another.

From there, Miami outscored the Clippers 24-14 to end the third, but still trailed 80-66 after Redick’s fast-break layup off a steal by Brandon Bass beat the buzzer heading into the fourth.

“Those are tough shots,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “That’s a dying breed in this league, guys that can come off screens full speed, catch, shoot from 20-24 feet. He’s really created a great niche for him, and it helps that basketball team.”

Marreese Speights scored 12 of his 19 points before fouling out in the fourth when the Clippers built their lead back to 20.

TIP-INS

Heat: G Dion Waiters received a flagrant-2 foul and was ejected after shoving Redick in the back of his head under the basket with 3:09 left in the third. … Spoelstra was hit with a technical in the third as was Dragic. … G Josh Richardson was out with a left foot sprain and F Luke Babbitt sat out with the flu. … They fell to 6-12 against the West.

Clippers: Paul recorded his 8,000th assist in his 805th career game, fourth-fastest in NBA history to the mark. … Rookie F Brice Johnson, who has yet to play this season because of a herniated disk in his lower back sustained in the preseason, isn’t likely to return anytime soon.

SAY THANKS

Clippers coach Doc Rivers made Jordan thank Redick during the game for helping out on defense.

“D.J. helps a lot and he goes crazy if he doesn’t get any,” Rivers said.

Jordan succumbed to the peer pressure and expressed thanks to Redick. “I blew him a kiss,” he said.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE

Whiteside was back at the scene of his breakout two years after he had a then-career high 23 points and 16 rebounds off the bench for the Heat against the Clippers at Staples Center.

The Heat won 104-90 on Jan. 11, 2015, in an afternoon game just like Sunday.

At the time, Whiteside had been out of the league for two years after playing briefly with Sacramento. The Clippers were one of 29 teams that declined him a preseason tryout; the Heat was the only team to work him out.

“Very quickly after that we ended up starting him,” Spoelstra recalled of that 2015 game. “He went on a run there for about three weeks where he was having those kinds of impacts, and we were winning those games. When he’s playing on that kind of level, and impacting the game at both ends of the court, we’re a totally different team.”

HE SAID IT

“We started being too clever. We started switching things defensively. Hell, I didn’t even know what we were doing at times. It was confusing me.” - Doc Rivers on the team’s overly elaborate defensive changes during their recent six-game skid.

UP NEXT

Heat: Visit Golden State on Tuesday night in the next-to-last game of a six-game trip, their longest of the season.

Clippers: Host Orlando on Wednesday night.

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