Lakers progress: Miami goes ko and loses Butler too

The yellow and purple win in extra time taking the second consecutive success without LeBron. The leader of the Heat out with a sprained ankle after the first quarter: exams coming up

The victory that was needed. The Lakers fold Miami 120-117 in extra time in a splendid and very tight game, hitting the second success in a row and obtaining the confirmation of being on the right path with the “scalp” of what has so far been the best team in the East. Thanks to Russell Westbrook, fundamental in the final with a triple double of 25 points, 12 rebounds and 14 assists, and Anthony Davis (24 points and 13 rebounds), of course, but also the wildcard Malik Monk, the most productive with 27 points from the bench (seasonal maximum) and the defense that keeps Miami at 41.7% from the field. The Heat lose for the second time in a row, third in the last four games, but above all they lose Jimmy Butler, out after the first quarter for a sprained right ankle and never returned.

progress

In the fourth game in a row without LeBron, the Lakers’ progress (7 won and 5 lost so far) is evident. Westbrook takes a while to get going, but in the second half he finally seems to have understood not only how to manage the team, but also how to put himself in pace, with 20 points and 9 assists there to prove it. Davis battles under the basket with Bam Adebayo, the best in Miami, but also brings out the leadership in the decisive moments. The best indications for the yellow-violet come from the rest of the team: from the umpteenth clever performance of Carmelo Anthony (12 points and 6 rebounds) to Monk, from Bradley’s triple in the first half, then transformed into defense, to the confidence of Wayne Ellington. “We have many players who can make a basket, create for themselves and others – says a satisfied Davis -. The worst part for us so far has been the injuries – we’ve never had the full roster. The hardest part will be finding an understanding with everyone as we try to win. However, we are all finding confidence in what we are doing, and it is the most important thing for us ”. There is still a lot to correct (the 23 turnovers are a figure to improve), but the Lakers are improving and it shows.

alibi

Miami (7-4) has the alibi of Butler’s knockout (medical tests coming in the next few hours) for this new stop. The Heat fight without him and are confirmed as racing, but it is difficult to play at the home of a team like the Lakers without your charismatic leader and your best player. Coach Spoelstra is not disappointed: “The Lakers put in important shots despite our defense, which I liked. We did enough to win but we didn’t succeed ”. Adebayo, 28 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 6 steals, was the best after struggling with foul problems throughout the first half: in the second half he was the focus of the Heat attack, with Kyle Lowry (18 points and 11 assists) and Tyler Herro (still super off the bench with 27 points) main terminals. Miami would not have reached extra time without PJ Tucker, an indispensable 10-point, 13-rebound moped. Butler’s absence brought out some depth problems, also increased by the 3/13 from Duncan Robinson’s arc. Despite the knockout, Miami remains a racing team.

the match

The 44-36 that Westbrook signs with 5’13 ”from rest is the maximum gap between the two teams in the first half, even if at the interval Miami is ahead, 57-55. The Heat restart without Butler, but thanks to Adebayo’s show (14 points and 4 recoveries) they reach the siren at 86-82 and in the middle of the fourth period they try to escape, extending with the energetic Tucker at 102-93 with 6’57 ” to play. Westbrook takes the Lakers by the hand and makes them lift their heads, leading them 110-108 with 52 ”to play and ushering in a spectacular final that takes the two teams to overtime at 112-112. Adebayo crushes the first basket of the extra 5 ‘, but the Lakers respond with a 7-0 run that is worth 119-114 with 1’56 ”to play. Adebayo brings Miami under 119-117 with 23 ”on the clock, but Herro misses the triple of the hook and the Lakers seal the victory.

LA Lakers: Monk 27 (6/6 of two, 4/7 of three, 3/4 free throws), Westbrook 25, Davis 24. Rebounds: Davis 13. Assists: Westbrook 14.

Miami: Adebayo 28 (9/20, 10/11 tl), Herro 27, Lowry 18. Rimbalzi: Tucker 13. Assist: Lowry 11.

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Lakers progress: Miami goes ko and loses Butler too

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