Kawhi Leonard

Clippers down four starters against the Heat

Late last month, the Clippers rallied from an 18-point deficit to defeat the Heat in Miami without Leonard, George and Beverley – but the degree of difficulty required to do it again went up without Batum on the floor.

The savvy French forward – who initially was ruled out Monday with a migraine, Coach Tyronn Lue said – led the team in Miami with 18 points, going 6 for 9 from 3-point range.

Lue declined to give specifics about Leonard’s and George’s respective prognosis, although he struck an optimistic tone.

Beverley good-naturedly implored reporters to ask him about the milestone and also sent Lue a text message with a photo of his 4,000th point and a request: “Run slice home for me.”

Williams referenced Beverley’s history as a prolific scorer in the prep ranks, when he attended John Marshall Metropolitan High in Chicago and led the state of Illinois in scoring as a senior, averaging 37.3 points per game.

Beverley’s basketball journey after that included stops in Arkansas for college, and then, professionally, in Ukraine, Greece and Russia before he at last stuck in the NBA, at 24, with the Houston Rockets.

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