It was there for the taking. A golden opportunity to beat the Heat went up in flames as the Lake Show took a page out of the LeBron book and just couldn’t close. Oh but in case you’re paying attention, Spoelstra, your man Wade sure can.
Kobe came out in Black Mamba mode looking to apply the death touch in the first quarter. But that fire just didn’t carry as his three with two and a half minutes left would be the final bucket of the night for the Lakers. From there out it was all Miami as D-Wade led the charge to a momentum building win for Miami.
All the things the Lakers had been doing so well over the course of an 8-game win streak disappeared in the humidity of South Beach.
Andrew Bynum was a non-factor in the first half. While Drew did dial it up a notch in the third his early form was reminiscent of those inconsistencies we’ve seen in the past.
Speaking of the third quarter. That was about the only time the Lakers played any D tonight. Miami scored 26 or more points in three of the four quarters. Making matters worse the Lakers couldn’t get a stop when they needed it most.
One advantage the Lakers are supposed to have over the Heat is size. Well, size really didn’t matter as the Lakers were out rebounded 46-37. Drew did the daily double (13 and 12) but Pau and Lamar were allergic to the glass tonight as those two combined for 10 boards between them.
Odom was never really in rhythm but then again neither was anyone off the pine. Odom got into some foul trouble limiting his minutes to just 20 ticks on the court but he still scored 11 of the Lakers’ 16 pathetic bench points. Steve Blake, Shannon Brown and Matt Barnes went a combined 0 of 6 from the field. Not the kind of effort that will beat the Cavs let alone the Heat.
So much for another advantage this squad was supposed to have over the Heat.
Miami’s second unit did work as Mike Miller rediscovered his stroke and Mike Bibby channeled his old days as a King dropping a couple big threes against the Lakers.
All in all it seemed fitting that the Heat would end their losing streak at the expense of the Lakers. You just knew Miami was going to give L.A. their best shot. Twice the Lakers have tried to climb Mt. Miami and twice they’ve failed this season. If these teams meet again it will be in the Finals. This isn’t a crushing loss but it certainly makes for more barbershop fodder.
Now the pressure is on to close this road trip with a strong showing in Dallas. Nobody expected the Lakers to go perfect on this brutal trip but this was certainly a game that you’d hope they’d win.