Having not defeated the Miami Heat (28-9) since they acquired LeBron James in the summer of 2010, the Los Angeles Lakers (23-14) were finally able to get a win on Sunday afternoon, scrapping their way to a 93-83 victory.
With forward Chris Bosh out due to a death in his family, the Lakers were just too much too handle.
Kobe Bryant, who donned a protective mask for the third straight game after suffering a broken nose and mild concussion resulting from a hard foul by Dwyane Wade, got off to a hot start. Bryant (who started the game 5-5 from the field) put up 18 points in the first quarter, as he and Andrew Bynum helped the Lakers lead going into the second, 28-20
In the second quarter, with the second unit on the floor, rookie Andrew Goudelock continued his solid offensive play, knocking down a couple of three-pointers. Andrew Bynum continued to play well offensively and defensively, as did Metta World Peace. By halftime, Bynum had eight points and seven rebounds, and World Peace scored nine points as the Lakers were up, 50-38.
LeBron James began to take control of the game in the third quarter, helping the Heat cut the lead to just two points. However, the Lakers were able to finish the quarter off strong and push the lead back to nine, 71-62. After one play, LeBron James appeared to push Lakers’ reserve Troy Murphy, which seemed to fire up Pau Gasol, who uncharacteristically came to the aid of his teammate. Gasol and James battled in the post throughout the game.
With the stage set for an intense fourth quarter, Metta World Peace continued his strong play, harassing LeBron James and the rest of the Heat’s offense, and hitting timely shots as well. A frustrated Dwyane Wade fouled out halfway through the fourth, and the Black Mamba came out aggressive once again, making sure the Heat had no chance of coming back.
On a sunny Southern California day that reached 80-plus-degree weather, the Lakers found a way to beat the Heat.
Bryant finished with 33 points (on 14-23 shooting from the field), three rebounds, and one assist, while Metta World Peace provided a very solid all-around game, tallying 17 points (on 6-10 shooting, 2-4 from three), seven rebounds, four steals, and three assists. Andrew Bynum, who played exceptional defense throughout the whole game, had 16 points, 13 rebounds, four blocked shots, and two assists, while Pau Gasol provided 11 points, 10 rebounds (five offensive), and four assists. Andrew Goudelock scored seven points in nine minutes, and Derek Fisher scored four. Steve Blake had just three points, but dished out six assists, while Troy Murphy was scoreless, but blocked three shots, grabbed two rebounds and handed out two assists. Matt Barnes saw a limited role yesterday, playing just ten minutes and scoring just two points.
For the Heat, LeBron James led the way with 25 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists, three steals, and two blocks. Dwyane Wade struggled offensively (7-17 from the field) and had 16 points, five assists, four rebounds, two steals but also had five turnovers. As for the rest of the starters, Mario Chalmers scored 15 points, Joel Anthony had seven, but Udonis Haslem was scoreless in 20 minutes. Shane Battier, known for his solid defense, scored seven points, but was unable to bother Kobe Bryant, who was his main target in 32 minutes of play. Mike Miller had six points, and no other Heat player had more than three points.
Now, let’s break down the victory.
Next Page: The Breakdown