The Los Angeles Lakers kicked off their most recent homestand against the hot Miami Heat on Friday night. The purple-and-gold controlled the game for pretty much the entire time, finally pulling away for good at the end, winning 95-80 and extending their record to 7-1.
Here’s what was noteworthy from the Lakers’ seventh win in a row.
Anthony Davis in the first half, LeBron James finishes it off in the second half
Tonight was probably the most equal effort between the Lakers’ two superstars so far this season, as Anthony Davis helped do most of his damage in the first half, while LeBron James followed suit by polishing off the game in the second.
When the buzzer sounded, Davis ended with 26 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, three blocks, and two steals, while LeBron ended with 25 points (4-of-7 from three), six assists, and four rebounds. The two impacted the game immensely, ending with a +27 and +16, respectively.
Lakers struggle from deep against a zone defense from the Heat
The Miami Heat implemented somewhat of a 2-3 zone defense against the Lakers for most of the first half as well as moments in the second half. Not surprising, as the Lakers came into this game 27th in the league in three-point percentage, at 31.7%.
The plan generally worked for the Miami Heat, as the Lakers shot 8-of-32 (25%) from three tonight, including some rough shooting performances for Kyle Kuzma (1-of-7) and Danny Green (1-of-5). However, the Lakers did find ways to counter the zone defense with their length by driving into the lane and finding Anthony Davis and/or JaVale McGee coming from the baseline for some easy bunnies.
Team defense comes up big again
While the Lakers have struggled from deep this year, the Heat have done the opposite, as they came into tonight leading the league in three-point percentage at 40.5%. However, the second night of a back-to-back may have caught up to them, as they struggled mightily tonight.
The Lakers kept them at bay from downtown, while also keeping them quiet at all other areas in the court as the Heat only scored 80 points in the contest. Overall the Heat shot 35% from the field, with an abysmal 17.1% from three.
The Lakers will have an off day before they have another one at home. This time the Toronto Raptors will be coming into town, as Danny Green faces his former team for the first time since winning a championship with them last year.