The focus during Thursday night's 102-97 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers at AmericanAirlines Arena was undeniable and unbending.

The Miami Heat weren't going to allow Chris Paul to beat them.

"You have to put as many bodies, as much pressure on him as you can," forward LeBron James said.

The traps were persistent, pervasive, punishing.

Blake Griffin got his. So did J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford. And the Clippers' rebounding and running advantages at times were overwhelming.

But this was one of those nights when the Heat established their focus and were unrelenting, like in the first half on opening night against the Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose, like two seasons ago just before the All-Star break against the New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin.

"That was our main focus, control everything he did," point guard Mario Chalmers said. "We executed our game plan on him to a 'T' tonight."

Paul still got his assists, closing with 12, matching the high by a Heat opponent this season, but was limited to 11 points on 3-of-11 shooting.

"We didn't want him to be able to do both," guard Dwyane Wade said.

It wasn't Chalmers and Norris Cole doing it alone defensively; it was just about every member of the rotation rotating for defensive help when Paul got the ball.