Decided after extension, this remake from Finals 2020 finally turned to the advantage of the Lakers (120-117), victorious in the pain of the Heat, after a particularly indecisive meeting (33 leader changes on the scoreboard, an NBA record this season ).
Orphan of Jimmy Butler after only a quarter-time, Miami relied all evening on the other three members of its “Big Four”, namely Bam Adebayo (28 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 6 steals), Tyler Herro (27 points) and Kyle Lowry (18 points, 6 rebounds, 11 assists). Erik Spoelstra’s men may nevertheless have some regrets, they who still led by 9 points (106-97) just under five minutes from the end.
Determined, the “Purple & Gold” have in any case never let go in front of their audience, like Malik Monk (27 points), Russell Westbrook (25 points, 12 rebounds, 14 assists) and Anthony Davis (24 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists), who struggled at the end to allow the franchise of Los Angeles to land a precious success, which is sure to boost his morale after his sluggish start to the campaign.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– Malik Monk, the chef’s surprise. Author of 27 points, at 10/13 on shots and 4/7 on 3-points, the Californian back pulled out all the stops last night, finishing his team’s top scorer. And the former Hornets player first stood out in the second quarter, when he allowed the Lakers to sign an 8-0 to take the lead. Before finding the light in the last act, scoring 7 of the first 9 points of his own in the period, then planting a capital 3-point at 106-102, to help Los Angeles pick up the score in the “money-time”. Finally, in overtime, Malik Monk did not weaken, launching Los Angeles with a new 3-point, then a “teardrop”. To the delight of LeBron James, on the sidelines.
– The All-Stars go out on their own. Between Russell Westbrook’s triple-double and Anthony Davis’ double-double, to which Kyle Lowry and Bam Adebayo each responded with a double-double as well, the Staples Center audience witnessed a nice duel of All-Star tandems . And everyone had their moment, Davis brilliant in the first quarter (11 points, 6 rebounds), Lowry in the second (8 points, 3 assists), Adebayo in the third (14 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals) and Westbrook in the last (10 points, 6 assists). If they weren’t all perfect and regular the whole match (8 losses of the ball and a missed winning shot for Westbrook, 6 fouls for Adebayo, 2/10 at 3-points for Lowry and 4 points in the 17 final minutes for Davis), they nevertheless assumed their status that night.
– Jimmy Butler’s injury exit. Hit in the ankle in the first quarter, the All-Star winger then did not return to the field. While he still has three games to play in his “road trip” on the West Coast, including one tonight against the other franchise of Los Angeles, the Heat preferred to take no risk with its best player , leaving Tyler Herro (27 points) to take his place (and his offensive responsibilities) in the five. With more or less success, since the 6th man from Miami has lost influence over the minutes.
TOPS / FLOPS
✅ The Bradley / Ellington duo. Between them, the Californian exteriors played the X factors today. In the starting five, Avery Bradley (17 points) launched the Lakers in the first quarter, registering 11 units in the period, 3/3 to 3 points. He then continued to artillery successfully (5/8 in the end behind the arc), compensating for the failed match of Kent Bazemore. As for Wayne Ellington (12 points), he also proved invaluable with his quality of shoot, never hesitating to draw as soon as Miami left him space. Coming off the bench, his spontaneity is good for Los Angeles, which was expecting just that from him by recruiting him.
⛔ Dwight Howard. In just 11 minutes of play last night, the three-time Defender of the Year still had time to compile six faults. Not in a good evening, despite his good will and his energy, the veteran pivot has never weighed on this meeting (0 point, 3 rebounds, 1 against). Distinguishing himself especially for his nasty fault on Kyle Lowry in the first half, which earned him to be reprimanded by Bam Adebayo and Udonis Haslem, with whom he had clung at the end of last season.
UNUSABLE UDONIS HASLEM
Given the fouling problems of Bam Adebayo and Dewayne Dedmon (three each in the first half), Erik Spoelstra was forced to dig deep in his bench to keep at least one interior on the floor. Thus, it is the veteran Udonis Haslem (41 years old) who had the opportunity to play a few minutes last night.
And the iconic Miami soldier, who is playing his 19th season in the league, did the job, including allowing himself to register a small shot at mid-distance in the second quarter. Even if he was then violently countered by Russell Westbrook, before returning to sit on the bench, to make way for Turkish rookie Omer Yurtseven.
Los Angeles (7-5) : Minnesota reception, Friday night to Saturday (4:30 am).
Miami (7-4) : “Back-to-back”, still in Los Angeles, but facing the Clippers, on the night of Thursday to Friday (4:30 am).