With just nine healthy players suiting up, the Los Angeles Lakers needed everyone to step up to get a victory over one of the East’s top teams in the Miami Heat. Thankfully, they got just that and Malik Monk showed exactly why the Lakers got themselves a steal in free agency.
Monk poured in a season-high 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting to lead six Lakers in double-figures and L.A. fought back from a late fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the Heat 120-117 in overtime. The win was the Lakers’ second straight victory with both coming in overtime, and improves their record to 7-5.
Monk has had some struggles to start the season, but really came through in the second half as he scored 21 of his 27 in the last two quarters and overtime period. He also hit 4-of-7 from 3-point range and added six rebounds, three assists and one block as well.
Russell Westbrook tallied his second straight triple-double with 25 points, 12 rebounds and 14 assists, but again struggled to take care of the ball with eight turnovers. Despite that, he still made multiple huge shots to put the Lakers ahead late in the fourth.
Anthony Davis also had another strong showing with 24 points, 13 rebounds and four assists as he battled with Heat big man Bam Adebayo all night. Each had their moments, but Davis did play a huge role in ultimately fouling out Miami’s star big.
Veterans Avery Bradley and Wayne Ellington were also huge for the Lakers, especially with their outside shooting. The pair combined for 29 points on 9-of-14 from deep, while Carmelo Anthony had his worst shooting night inside Staples Center, but still contributed 12 points and six rebounds.
The Lakers had a number of positive things to build on offensively as they shot 50% from the field and hit 18-of-38 3-pointers as a team while out-rebounding the Heat by three and moving the ball well with 26 assists. But once again, the Lakers were nearly done in due to their inability to take care of the ball and defend without fouling.
The Lakers committed 22 turnovers and 27 fouls, which led to 35 Miami free throw attempts to just 16 by the Lakers. They were also outscored in the paint by 12 and allowed 11 offensive rebounds, which nearly cost them in the end.
Miami was led by Adebayo’s 28 points, 10 rebounds and six steals while Tyler Herro added 27 points off the bench for the Heat, who lost star Jimmy Butler in the middle of the game to a sprained ankle.
Next up for the Lakers…
The Lakers have three more games to finish out their homestand, starting when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, followed by the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday before Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball return to Staples Center with the Chicago Bulls on Monday.
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