It was Jimmy who’d sink a three to start things off in this one, which would start a back and forth battle against the Lakers with Bam (he hit a three) and DLo trading punches (not real punches, buckets.) Miami’s offense flowed well early with everything running through Bam, Jimmy and Tyler.
Bam’s evolution was on clear display tonight with him playmaking, spacing and being ultra-agressive. While the Heat took the lead briefly, the Lakers got out on a 12-2 run leaving Miami reeling but still in striking distance. Led by Jimmy and Bam and a well times Jaquez three the Heat would steal back the lead.
The Lakers of course struck back but with Duncan hitting shots and flawless from the field, Miami stayed within two to end the first quarter.
Josh Richardson opened the second quarter with a three to take the lead back, as the second unit surged with Jaime and Duncan creating for Thomas Bryant.
The one notable negative early was Herro not being able to get into his groove. He was 2-6 tonight and just unable to find the touch he’s showcased in the first handful of games. However, even without Herro dominating on offense Miami was able to get contributions from other like Jaquez Jr. who showcased his talent on both ends to keep the Heat ahead. Thankfully, Herro would find his shooting touch mere moments after I wrote this paragraph.
The Heat struggled to stop LeBron in transition because he’s LeBron James, but otherwise was decent on defense even with the Lakers tying things up. With Jimmy, Highsmith and Lowry getting involved on offense Miami was once again able to steal back the lead to close the half.
Miami really struggled to guard the paint in this one and that was on display early as the Lakers tied things right up off easy buckets. Miami just couldn’t slow down LA who at one point in the third shot an efficient 57% from the field. Thankfully Bam continued his midrange mastery, while Herro also continued to score well. But it’s hard to stay ahead when you have the LeBron threat looming and he kept the Lakers uncomfortably close.
The Heat were able to get second chance buckets, and deliver in transition (yes you read that right) to create an 11-0 run and get the lead up to twelve. The Lakers would push back with LeBron attempting to Yam it up on Duncan’s head, but still manage to take a 11 point lead into the fourth quarter.
Miami aimed to finish this one strong despite this season’s tendency to falter in the fourth. Unfortunately, the Lakers ended up surging with LeBron leading the charge. Austin Reeves also contributed cutting the lead down to six while calling his own isos.
The Heat regained its composure with Jaquez Jr. playing some smart basketball to get the Heat back out to 10. With Bam notching a triple double, DLo getting ejected, and Davis not returning it was up to LeBron to try and mount a comeback. The Lakers once again got within six, and with Tyler getting Teed up at the worst possible times things started to progressively get worse. Suddenly “Let’s go Lakers” chants were audible and things seemed precarious at best.
A well-timed cocktail of Herro threes, clutch Jimmy buckets, would get the Heat back out to 10, but still LeBron and the Lakers lurked. With the Lakers compiling a 9-1 run, and LeBron making it look like it was 2014 things didn’t look great for Miami.
Leading by only one the Heat delivered a handful of questionable possessions, allowing the Lakers a shot at the win with 8.9 seconds left. A missed shot at the win by Reddish allowed Miami to escape defeat by the skin of its teeth. A good win, but these fourth quarters need some cleaning up asap.