Sports

NBA: Heat beat struggling Lakers after equal score


Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat defeated Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the match at the FTX Arena on December 28, 2022 in Miami, Florida.

Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat defeated Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the match at the FTX Arena on December 28, 2022 in Miami, Florida. Megan Briggs/Getty Images/AFP

Jimmy Butler scored 27 points, Bam Adebayo added 23 points and 14 rebounds, and the Miami Heat caused the Los Angeles Lakers to lose their fifth of their last six games by 112-98 on Wednesday.

Butler and Adebayo both returned to the lineup after missing out on Monday’s Miami win over Minnesota – Butler sprained his ankle and Adebayo was ill – to pull off a 21/34 composite shot from the floor.

Butler finished 11th out of 18, despite missing all four of his 3-point attempts, while Adebayo scored 10 out of 16.

Their efforts helped all five Heat starters hit double-digits, alongside Tyler Herro with 18 points, Caleb Martin with 13 and Gabe Vincent with 12.

Miami took the lead for most of the competition, its advantage growing to 22 points in the third quarter.

For the second time in as many games, the Heat had a poor overall shot from 3-point at 31.4%. Aside from Herro’s 3/7 and Martin’s 3/4 from outside the arc, the rest of the Miami team just went 5/24.

However, The Heat made up for it with a stuffy defense, forcing Los Angeles to have 24 away legs. Butler led the defensive effort with five steals, while Victor Oladipo added three swipes. Herro and Vincent each contributed two.

Miami also showed off its muscles on the glass and in the lane, edging the Lakers 19-9 on second-chance points and 52-40 on points in paint.

LeBron James battled Butler for a top 27 of the game, while also scoring nine more rebounds with six assists, but conceding six turns. Dennis Schroder and Russell Westbrook each scored 15 points, of which Westbrook had the highest 8 assists as a teammate.

Troy Brown Jr. dropped 5/6 games from the bench to score 14 points after the loss, as Los Angeles fell 1-2 in the current 5-game stretch, and dropped to 2-5 since Anthony Davis left the team with a strain injury in his right foot.

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