Despite a late-game comeback, the Los Angeles Lakers fell short against the Miami Heat, losing 113-107.
The Laker backcourt of Avery Bradley and Russell Westbrook kicked off the scoring, but the Heat saw two 3-pointers go down to take an early 8-4 lead. LeBron James was able to nail a three of his own, but Miami poured it on from outside and took a double-digit lead early.
Russell Westbrook was able to convert an and-one, but followed it up with a flagrant one call on Dewayne Dedmon that proved costly for Los Angeles. The Lakers were able to finally see some offensive success, but failing to get any stops saw them looking at a 39-25 deficit after one.
Los Angeles did not have much going on either end at the top of the second as their offense struggled to score and defensively put Miami in the bonus. The Lakers did manage a small 6-0 spurt after Dedmon committed a flagrant foul on Carmelo Anthony, but still trailed the Heat 56-39.
The Lakers continued to play out of sorts on both ends while the Heat were happy to pile it on and drive the former into a deeper scoreboard hole. Things got chippy in the final minute between Anthony as Gabe Vincent, but James’ aggressiveness in the paint allowed L.A. to claw to a 69-52 deficit at the half.
It was a slow start to begin the third as neither team was able to score until Russell Westbrook found James for a nice lob. The Lakers got within 15 points, but Jimmy Butler was able to resettle things for the Heat with a few mid-range jumpers.
Miami finally cooled off from beyond the arc but Los Angeles struggled to make much of a dent in their lead. A Wayne Ellington 3-pointer was a welcomed sight, but the Lakers had the tough task of trying to come back down 89-70.
The Heat’s ball movement caused the Lakers’ defense to break down as they gave up open threes and layups. L.A. was able to get into the bonus but had trouble getting over the hump as Miami continued to execute well and keep them at bay.
The Lakers played with much more energy in the closing minutes as they fought hard to get within striking distance. L.A. managed to pull within five points but ultimately fell short in the final minutes after turning the ball over late.
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