The LA Clippers fought incredibly hard to bring a 23 point game back to a 4 point game against the Miami Heat, but Miami was on fire - especially Jimmy Butler.
According to Tim Reynolds, Jimmy Butler had the first 16/16 free throw shooting line in Miami Heat history. This was only the second game this season where a stat like this occurred, with the other game being one in which Giannis Antetokounmpo shot 17/17.
Clippers head coach Ty Lue credited Jimmy Butler's free throw shooting, and Gabe Vincent's third quarter three-point shooting as the two main catalysts that cost the Clippers the game. To put some of these stats into perspective, the LA Clippers shot 9/35 as a team from deep, and Gabe Vincent shot 7/12 on his own. In addition, the Clippers missed 8 free throws in a game that they ultimately lost by 7 points. Those free throws that Jimmy Butler made, and the Clippers missed, were game-changing.
After defeating the LA Clippers, the Miami Heat have a 1.5 game lead on the 1st seed. They're doing this while missing Bam Adebayo for a portion of the season, and currently missing both Kyle Lowry and Victor Oladipo.
The LA Clippers will remain in the 7th seed, with no return date for both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. The team has shown tremendous fight without both of their superstars, figuring out a way to remain close to the 6th seed, and have a better record than the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves. Regardless, LA will likely need at least one of their superstar players to avoid the play-in.