NBA: Los Angeles Clippers beat Miami Heat to get back on track with fourth straight win

Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers takes the floor during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on Dec 16, 2016 in Miami, Florida.
Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers takes the floor during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on Dec 16, 2016 in Miami, Florida. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The Los Angeles Clippers put their late-December swoon further behind them on Sunday with a convincing 98-86 National Basketball Association victory over the under-manned Miami Heat.

J.J. Redick scored 25 points and point guard Chris Paul added 19 points, 18 assists and six rebounds as the Clippers won their fourth straight game.

Paul became the 10th player in league history to reach 8,000 assists, finishing the night on 8,012.

Marreese Speights chipped in 19 points off the bench and Brandon Bass added 12 for Los Angeles.

The Clippers got off to a solid start this season, with one seven-game winning streak in November contributing to a 14-2 start.

But with Blake Griffin sidelined after arthroscopic knee surgery on Dec 20, and Paul battling a sore hamstring, the Clippers dropped six straight from Dec 23-31.

Despite missing two starters, the Heat stayed within striking range for much of the first half. However, a late flourish by the Clippers allowed them to take a 52-39 lead at the interval.

Los Angeles stretched the lead to as many as 23 points in the third period and they led 80-66 going into the final frame - which they opened with a 9-2 scoring run.