Un solid Jimmy Butler, with his third triple-double of the season, led this Sunday to Miami Heat in their victory over some Lakers (113-107) who continue to show signs of solidity problems and who continue to miss Anthony Davis a lot.
But Miami was about to lose the 23 point difference that he enjoyed with just over 8 minutes to go after a first half in which he scored 69 points, but that he allowed himself to be scored 37 in the last quarter.
Butler, author of 20 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, claimed his tenth triple-double with the Heat jersey, becoming the player who has achieved the most triple-doubles in franchise history by surpassing LeBron. The forward was well accompanied by Duncan Robinson, what a sum 25 points, thanks to his second consecutive game scoring more than 5 triples -tonight 6-.
For the Lakers, Lebron James (33 points) and Westbrook (25) pushed their team in an attempt to turn the score around, but they couldn’t do it and They begin to see their “playoff” position in the Western Conference in danger, where they are seventh. With this defeat, the Angelenos sign a balance of 23-24, the worst for LeBron James at this point in the season (47 games) since the 2003-2004 season.
And this Sunday would have been a good chance of victory, because Miami could not count on Kyle Lowry, Victor Oladipo y Tyler Herro, but the Heat again showed their strength at home, with 10 wins from the last 11 games, while the Lakers continue to suffer away from Los Angeles (8-12 this season).
The Lakers missed Anthony Davis a lot, who could not reappear, although he is in the final phase of recovery from his left knee injury, and without him his team has a record of 7 wins and 10 losses.
In Miami, they once again showed the coupling problems of their players that have been dragging on since the beginning of the season, since they bear little resemblance to the team that won the championship two years ago, precisely against the Heat.
Bad start to the night for Lakers, who, after three losses and a poor percentage of shots, his coach, Frank Vogel, had to stop the game when he saw that the local team was already 12-4 in the light with only four minutes played.
But Vogel did not find the solution. Miami was very comfortable and doing a lot of damage, with a fluid movement from outside to inside and an enormous reliability from the triple, with 6 of 10 attempts and Duncan Robinson as the main gunner.
So the Heat extended the lead to 14 points (39-25) in the first quarter, in which Miami abused its rival, with Butler leading the orchestra with 7 assists, and only Lebron James keeping his team in the game.
To try to stop the bleeding, Californians turned up the intensity level, but nothing served, and the advantage was rising to 26 (66-40) with two minutes to go before the break.
Finally Lakers achieved a way to reduce the distance and go to halftime down 17 (69-52) with James already at 18 points, followed by Westbrook, with 11. If Miami could boast of 21 assists and 64% in triples (11 of 17 attempts), the Lakers stayed at a very poor 22%.
After the break, the situation remained stable on the scoreboard. Westbrook tried, with more passion than success, to revolutionize the match, but Butler was attentive to placate any approach, with 12 points of his team’s 20 in the fourth. But when everything seemed doomed, with a 23-point lead with eight minutes remaining, the Lakers managed a 23-6 run.
The relaxation and several bad decisions of the local players allowed the Angelenos to get closer to 11 points with just over 3 minutes to go (104-93).
Then the nerves appeared in Miami. First a 3-pointer by Carmelo Anthony and then two free-kicks by Westbrook put the visitors within 5 against a Heat that stalled after over 100 points.
But another triple by Robinson, an offensive foul by Angeleno Avery Bradley and a loss with 7 seconds to go prevented the visitors from completing the comeback.