The Los Angeles Lakers were tested at home yet again on Wednesday night, grinding out a 120-117 overtime victory over the Miami Heat.
It was a slow start for both teams as neither team scored a field goal until Avery Bradley broke the seal with a layup in transition. Although the Lakers did a good job of forcing misses, they did themselves no favors on the other end as they committed five early turnovers.
Anthony Davis began to carry the offensive burden for Los Angeles, scoring 11 consecutive points to give them a slight a 17-16 lead. The main reason for that was Bam Adebayo getting into early foul trouble, allowing Davis to go to work on Miami’s backup bigs.
Not only was Davis everywhere on the floor, Bradley caught fire from beyond the arc and the Lakers would take a 28-25 lead after one quarter.
Things got chippy early in the second quarter as Carmelo Anthony and Caleb Martin were called for double technical fouls and Dwight Howard looked to accidentally hit Kyle Lowry in the face, which did not go over too well with the Heat. The Lakers were able to resettle themselves and Malik Monk started to heat up, scoring a quick six points to give them a 41-36 advantage.
The Heat managed to tie the game up on two separate occasions thanks to Tyler Herro, though the Lakers managed to answer each time to remain up three. However, a barrage of outside shooting in the final minutes of the half left L.A. trailing 57-55.
Unlike the first quarter, the Lakers got off to a much better offensive start as they hit their first four field goal attempts. The lead ping ponged between the two squads, with neither side able to create much separation.
Miami did a good job of mucking things up on both ends and seemed to take some hold of the game after a pair of Bam Adebayo free throws. Wayne Ellington and Monk did well to keep the Lakers within striking distance, but the team went into the fourth trailing 86-82.
Monk continued to shoot the basketball well, handing L.A. the lead to begin the final frame. However, the Laker offense cooled down considerably which allowed the Heat to take a nine-point lead midway through the period.
Anthony did his best to keep L.A. hanging around and another deep outside shot from Monk cut the deficit to four. Russell Westbrook nailed two clutch jumpers in the final minute, but a PJ Tucker put-back dunk tied the game again. On the final possession of regulation, Westbrook missed a three and Davis failed to get his putback to go in and the game went into overtime.
Adebayo got a dunk to kick off overtime, but Monk answered with another three to give the Lakers a one-point lead. Miami missed three pivotal free throws in the closing seconds, but L.A. made life difficult for themselves after getting called for a five-second violation.
Fortunately, the Lakers lucked out with Herro missing a last-second three and took the hard-earned victory.
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