After trailing by 14 points on Friday night, the Los Angeles Lakers leaned on a dominant second half from LeBron James to hold off the Miami Heat 113-110.
LeBron James found himself doing the unexpected during halftime against the Miami Heat: taking advice.
After leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 113-110 victory against the Heat on Friday, James credited his teammates for providing him the fuel he needed to help spark an impressive second-half comeback.
“They told me to be me…thank God we got two halves in a basketball game where I can flush the first one and then try to come back and help us win,” said James during a post-game interview with ESPN’s Israel Gutierrez.
James scored 17 points in the second half after only shooting 36.1 percent from the field before halftime. He made 3-of-5 3-point attempts during that period, helping him finish the night with 28 points, 12 assists, and nine rebounds. With 3:43 left in the fourth quarter, one of his most important shots came off a physically demanding drive and layup that overpowered an often efficient Miami defense.
“This is a really good team. We were playing a team that has not yet lost on their home floor and they showed why. They’re very resilient just like us, and they play together,” said James.
Anthony Davis registered another double-double, tallying a team-high 33 points and 10 rebounds to help the Lakers win their sixth straight game. Los Angeles outworked Miami on the glass for a second time this season, grabbing 50 rebounds against the Heat’s 34.
JaVale McGee put on a noteworthy defensive performance, blocking five shots against a Miami Heat offense that struggled to find dominant inside scoring beyond Jimmy Butler’s 23 points and 45 percent shooting.
Los Angeles’ slow start was a product of poor ball security. After earning more rebounds and blocks than Miami in the first half, Los Angeles had 11 turnovers before halftime, seven of which came from LeBron James.
Miami found ways to capitalize by scoring in transition until Los Angeles improved its turnover margin to -3 in the second half. The Heat currently average 17.7 turnovers per game, the most out of any team in the league.
Miami’s 60 points before half continue a strong trend on the season. The Heat currently rank seventh in the league in first-half scoring and 24th in second-half scoring. Miami shot 50 percent from the field on 44 attempts in the first two quarters, 12 of which were 3-point misses. At one point, the Heat led the game by 14 points.
Following half, the Lakers embarked on a 14-6 run, scoring 37 points in the third quarter and taking the lead with 7:46 left in the period. Miami’s modest improvement to 30.3 percent in 3-point shooting during the second half — along with improved defensive efforts in the fourth quarter — kept the game alive until the end of the game. Jimmy Butler attempted to draw a foul on a difficult game-winning shot in final seconds that did not convert.
Lakers: Kyle Kuzma (left ankle) and Rajon Rondo (hamstring) did not play at Orlando on Wednesday and both sat out against the Heat. DeMarcus Cousins (knee) continued to not play as a definite timetable for his return has still not been confirmed.
Heat: Dion Waiters was not in the lineup after serving the first of a six-game suspension for failing to comply with team rules. He has not entered any games for the Heat this season. Waiters played his last game against the Brooklyn Nets in Miami’s 2018-2019 regular-season finale. Justise Winslow (back) and Goran Dragic (groin) did not play and their injuries will be managed on a day-to-day basis.
Lakers: At Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.
Heat: At Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.