The second stop on the Los Angeles Lakers road trip was in Miami as the Lakers took on a Heat team battling to remain in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
After three straight wins, the Lakers lost their last two games, including last night to the Charlotte Bobcats in the first game of this trip. The point guards have continued to shine for the Lakers as Jeremy Lin is playing his best basketball of the year and rookie Jordan Clarkson has continued to improve every game.
The Heat are still led by Dwyane Wade, but it’s a couple of newcomers who will make the difference for them. Center Hassan Whiteside has put up monster numbers since being called up from the D-League. Goran Dragic, acquired at the trade deadline has also played well. The Lakers are 16-43 while the Heat came in at 26-33.
The Lakers forced a turnover and Wayne Ellington hit an open corner three to get the scoring started. Another Ellington jumper made it 5-0, but Dwyane Wade got a steal and dunk to get the Heat on the board. A Robert Sacre hook and Carlos Boozer jumper put the Lakers ahead 9-4 early. Jordan Clarkson would finish a fast break layup to make it 11-4 and force a Heat timeout. The Heat came out firing after the timeout behind a couple of layups from Luol Deng and a pair of free throws from Wade to make it 11-10 Lakers. A three-point play from Hassan Whiteside gave the Heat their first lead of the game, but Boozer quickly evened things up with a layup on the other end. Jeremy Lin came in and made an immediate impact hitting Clarkson for an alley-oop and Boozer for a transition layup as the Lakers regained the lead with three minutes left in the quarter. The Heat again answered, this time at the free throw line, but Ed Davis kept the Lakers in the game with a couple of easy baskets. A free throw from Deng gave the Heat a 28-25 lead at the end of the quarter.
Lin had a nice fadeaway jumper and a tough layup to quickly tie the game at the outset of the second quarter. Michael Beasley had a dunk and Henry Walker hit a deep three to put Miami up five, but another Davis dunk kept the Lakers within three. The Lakers would regain the lead on a dunk from Wesley Johnson and an Ellington floater put them ahead by three. Johnson hit a three and Hill hit a jumper to put the Lakers ahead by six, but Wade would hit Whiteside for a layup to keep the Heat within four. The Heat cut it to two, but Ellington hit a beautiful step-back three to give the Lakers a five-point cushion. Dragic had a nice layup, but Clarkson hit Boozer for a short jumper to keep the Lakers ahead by five. The teams traded baskets as the half ended with the Lakers ahead by five, 51-46.
CONTINUE READING: Second half of Lakers-Heat