Early on in the 2019-20 NBA season, one of the bigger stories was the play of the Miami Heat.
With the addition of Jimmy Butler, the Heat rose to one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, especially at AmericanAirlines Arena where they were undefeated. So when Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and the Los Angeles Lakers rolled into Miami, it made for one of the most anticipated games of the early season and it delivered.
After a close first quarter, the Heat pushed ahead by as much as 14 points in the second quarter, but the Lakers would not be denied, dominating the third quarter and leading to a back and forth final quarter in Miami.
The Lakers were able to hold on after Butler missed a three in the final seconds that would have tied the game, ending the Heat’s undefeated home record while extending their own road winning streak to 13 with a 113-110 win.
As usual, James and Davis led the charge. James nearly notched a triple-double with 28 points, nine rebounds, and 12 assists while Davis finished with 33 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks, but there was plenty of help.
JaVale McGee had easily one of his best games of the young season with nine points, 10 rebounds, and five blocks while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 15 points and Avery Bradley pitched in 10 points off the Lakers bench.
Los Angeles was able to offset their 19 costly turnovers by dominating the rebounding 50-34, which included 14 offensive rebounds to just five for Miami. In addition, they also knocked down 12 three-pointers in this win.
Butler led the Heat with 23 points while Bam Adebayo finished with 12 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists while Kendrick Nunn added 16 points and seven assists. The Heat bench also massively outplayed the Lakers bench in this loss, outscoring them 45-19 points overall led by Derrick Jones Jr. (17 points) and Kelly Olynyk (15 points).
At a time when many were questioning the toughness of the team’s early-season schedule, going into a hostile, playoff-like environment and coming out with a win was a huge sign the Lakers were just on another level.