Los Angeles started the game with Dwight Howard missing a dunk within the first possession, and all signs pointed to what transpired following that play.
Miami caught fire from all over the court, and the Lakers didn’t have any counters on either end. Miami then snagged a 26-point lead, spelling more doom for a team that has struggled mightily to develop any sense of consistency.
Then, after an 18-point third quarter (Miami scored 20), the Lakers exploded into the game with a 37-point fourth quarter. L.A. got within four points, but it proved just short.
Here are some key stats that dictated the game:
Miami shot 15-of-33 from downtown, good for 45.5%. Los Angeles went just 11-of-40, sitting at 27.5%. That’s the ballgame. The Lakers could’ve won this had they not gone cold throughout the game. LeBron James shot 1-of-8, Trevor Ariza went 0-of-5 and Russell Westbrook went 0-of-3. Avery Bradley had the best clip at a high volume, going 4-of-9 from deep.
The Lakers also shot themselves in the foot by going 24-of-30 (80%) from the charity stripe. The Heat fouled 31 times while L.A. had 20. Miami shot 18-of-20 (90%) from the free-throw line, so the margins went against L.A. here too.
Points from the starters
The Heat had four of their starters scoring in double-figures. Only P.J. Tucker didn’t hit the mark with eight points, but he hit a clutch triple late in the game. For the Lakers, however, two starters didn’t log any points: Howard and Ariza. Howard played 11 minutes and Ariza played 15, but they didn’t log any points. Howard’s only miss was the early dunk attempt and Ariza’s five misses were all from deep. It didn’t help that Ariza turned the ball over four times, hurting the Lakers even more.
Points from the Lakers’ stars
Anthony Davis is nearing a return but was ultimately ruled out for this game. James (33) and Westbrook (24) combined for 57 points, and both had it going inside the arc. Westbrook shot 9-of-12 inside the arc and James shot 11-of-14. That was the recipe for success, but it wasn’t enough in the end. The Lakers got going too late.
Funny enough, both teams scored 35 points through their respective benches. But it took Miami four players while L.A. needed six. Two of Miami’s players didn’t play over 8 minutes, so Erik Spoelstra basically operated with a seven-man rotation with guys like Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro out.