Tonight’s game against the Heat was their first matchup of the year and it went as well as any matchup of 20 loss teams can go. The Lakers held a big lead multiple times throughout the game but couldn’t hold it and eventually lost to the Heat 115-107.
The Lakers started off the game in a similar fashion to Tuesday’s game. They began the game on an 11-0 run despite starting off 1-7 on three point shots. They took advantage of early Heat turnovers to offset their early shooting struggles and ended the first quarter with an eight point lead.
They didn’t let up and went into the second quarter looking to add onto their lead. D’Angelo Russell got hot with eight points in the quarter and helped the Lakers take a 19 point lead. The Heat battled back and the quarter ended with the Lakers having a five point lead.
Tonight’s game was not just a matchup of former super teams, but it was also a celebration of a key player for both franchises. Shaquille O’Neal was in the building as a play by play guy, but more importantly to have his jersey retired by the Miami Heat. He helped bring the Lakers three championships and helped win the Heat their first ring in 2006.
The second half started off quietly as both teams would give up a point for every point scored. This ended at the end of the third quarter when coincidentally Metta World Peace came into the game. The Heat took the lead for a bit but the quarter ended in a 82-82 tie.
Fourth quarters have been a problem for the young Lakers so far in the season. They gave up a huge lead in the fourth last game and couldn’t pull a win off tonight. Both teams exchanged leads throughout the fourth until the last five minutes in which the Heat took a good sized lead. The Heat ended up holding onto their lead and the Lakers lost.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember that the Lakers are a super young team especially when they’ve already exceeded expectations. These types of losses make fans remember the Laker’s youth, but there is room for optimism. The Lakers were without two starter quality forwards and still managed to hold the lead for the majority of the game. Although it is fun to watch them win they don’t need to win every game as this is supposed to be a development year.
Nick Young had himself a good game scoring 20 points and making 5-11 three pointers. He was a constant scoring threat from downtown and helped space out the floor more than usual.
Lou Williams had a great scoring night off the bench with 27 points. He had some questionable fouls against him, but he made all 8 of his free throws.
D’Angelo Russell had a great night and shockingly played more than 31 minutes tonight. He had great passes throughout the night despite some ugly turnovers and finished with a line 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. He’s looking much better recently and seems to have healed nicely from his knee injury.