[Los Angeles, CA] Coming off of a very close and very tough loss against the Utah Jazz on Friday night, the Miami Heat wanted to avenge that bitter defeat against their Sunday afternoon opponents, the Los Angeles Lakers.
The big story going into the game was the supposed rivalry many people thought that Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant had agoing, due to the unfortunate accident that saw Wade breaking Bryant’s nose during the NBA All-Star Game.
But for true basketball fans, the real story was the Heat’s problems on the boards. On Friday night, Miami was out-rebounded by the Jazz and those struggles continued against the Lakers.
The home team Lakers dominated the Heat in the first half, but especially in the first quarter. As the Heat struggled to get rebounds – possibly due to the absence of Chris Bosh, who was sitting out his third game in a row – Bryant was lighting up the scoreboard, pouring in 16 points in quarter number one.
Bryant nearly outscored the entire Heat squad. At the end of the first, the Lakers were up, 28-20.
In the second quarter, it got worse for Miami. Metta World Peace and Andrew Goudelock scorched the Heat in the second quarter, combining to score 14 points (somewhat of a surprise as World Peace – formerly Ron Artest – is playing the worst basketball of his career).
LeBron James of the Miami Heat takes on Metta World Peace
It seemed as if every time the Heat tried to cut the lead, the Lakers would make a run. At halftime, the score was Lakers 50, Heat 38.
The Heat made somewhat of a comeback in the third. Most of the scoring came from LeBron James and Shane Battier. Both combined to score 16 points, 11 of those coming from King James. The Heat pulled within two with 2 minutes left, but after a couple of three’s from the Lakers, L.A. went back up by 9.
At the end of the 3rd quarter, the Lakers were up 72-61.
The Heat tried but couldn’t close the gap in the fourth quarter. Bryant kept hitting shot after shot, putting the Heat away. It didn’t help that D-Wade fouled out in the quarter – that actually snapped a streak of 88 games where the Heat didn’t have a player foul out of a game, an NBA record.
The final score was Lakers 93, Heat 83.
LeBron James scored 25 points and had 13 rebounds. Dwyane Wade scored 16 points and had 5 assists. The Heat were out-rebounded once again, 44 to 35.
“We weren’t efficient as we normally are,” Miami Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra said after his team posted its second-lowest scoring total of the season (20 below its average). “We know we’re much better than the last two games and we’ll move on.”
By: Michael Tristani II/Sunshine Slate
Lead image: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)