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Clippers face Heat in another day game

The Los Angeles Clippers cap off a modern-day NBA rarity -- consecutive afternoon home games -- when they host the Miami Heat on Sunday.

The Clippers began the daytime double with a 113-104 loss Saturday afternoon to the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Heat, meanwhile, needed the day off Saturday to shake off the disappointment of Friday's 95-94 loss at Denver that tipped off a six-game trip.

Miami led the game 94-92 before fouling Nuggets forward Paul Millsap on a 3-point attempt with 11.9 seconds remaining. Millsap made all three free throws to give Denver the lead, and eventually the win.

"You feel the emotions right now," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after the game. "Everybody's disappointed when you have the opportunity to win on the road like that."

Playing an afternoon game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles is nothing new for the Heat. They struggled to their sixth-lowest scoring output of the season last year in a 98-86 loss on a Sunday afternoon in January that allowed the Clippers to sweep the two-game season series.

The Heat shot just 36.9 percent overall and 7 of 27 (25.9 percent) on 3-pointers in the defeat.

Miami began this season by scoring 100 or more points in three of four games, but has since been held to 97 or fewer in three of four, losing three of those games.

The Heat are just 3-5 despite having started the season with six of their first seven at home. That will even out in the next week, with Miami currently on a six-game trip.

Miami guard Goran Dragic had a team-high 23 points and seven assists at Denver. He has scored at least 17 points in all eight games, and 20 or more in five of the last seven.

Of course, a game against the Clippers no longer means a matchup with Chris Paul. Los Angeles is now starting Patrick Beverley at the point.

Beverley had 23 points and Blake Griffin 30 in Saturday's loss to the Grizzlies.

The difference in the game came from the bench, as all four Grizzlies reserves who played scored in double figures and combined for 55 points, outscoring their Clippers counterparts by 33.

Sunday's game takes on added importance for the Clippers because of Saturday's loss. It caps a five-game homestand for a team that, by day's end, will have played seven of nine at home.

After a 4-0 start that had them looking down at the champion Golden State Warriors in the standings, the Clippers have lost three of four on a homestand that ends Sunday.

That stretch included a 141-113 blowout loss to the Warriors on Monday.

Up next for the Clippers: eight of nine on the road, starting with a couple of Western heavyweights -- San Antonio and Oklahoma City.

"We wish they weren't both at 12:30 (p.m.)," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said of the unusual scheduling. "We talked about them. We can't think about the road right now."

Sunday's game is scheduled in the afternoon so that the Los Angeles Lakers can host the Grizzlies at night.

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