The Miami Heat look to start a new win streak today in Los Angeles against the Lakers in the Forum. They had won nine straight before losing to the Utah Jazz, 99-98 on Thursday. The Heat carry a 13-6 road record, while the Lakers are 16-2 at home. Miami is finishing up a three game roadtrip. They defeated the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday before the loss to Utah. They will return home after today's game for a 3 game homestand against the New Jersey Nets, the Atlanta Hawks and the Indiana Pacers. The Lakers are finishing up a three game homestand of their own. They defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves, 104-85 on Wednesday and the Sacramento Kings, 115-107 on Friday. They go on the road to face the Detroit Pistons, the Washington Wizards, and the Timberwolves after today's matchup,
The two haven't faced each other since a 98-87 Heat victory over the Lakers in Miami on January 19th. Dwyane Wade missed the matchup due to a sore foot, but it didn't slow LeBron James down. James filled the Miami statsheet with 31 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, four steals and three blocked shots. Chris Bosh scored 15 points with eight rebounds in support. Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 26 points and eight rebounds, while Kobe Bryant scored 24 with seven assists, five rebounds and three steals. After the game, Lakers coach Mike Brown talked about letting the Heat dictate the tempo:
"They were the aggressors on both ends of the floor, up until the last minute of the game. We were aggressive in the last six or seven minutes of the game. You can't go through a 48-minute game against a team like this and allow them to be aggressivefor most of the night."
Los Angeles Lakers vs Miami Heat [Game Recap] 19/01/2012 (via StephenAlcz)
Miami dropped a close one in their last game action, a 99-98 loss on the Utah Jazz' home court. Al Jefferson led six Jazz players in double figures with 20 points and six rebounds. LeBron James scored 35 for Miami with 10 boards, six assists and three blocked shots. Dwyane Wade pitched in 31 points with six rebounds, and Shane Battier scored 18 by shooting six-of-seven from behind the arc, along with four rebounds, three assists and four blocked shots. Udonis Haslem missed the possible game winning shot at the buzzer, leading James to get preemptively defensive with the media,
"I just try to make the right plays and do what it takes to win basketball games. At the end of the day, games are not lost on one shot at the end or me not taking a shot, but I know the chatter will begin. I wanted that game as bad as anyone else on that floor."
3.2.2012 Miami Heat @ Utah Jazz Full Game Highlights HD (via nbahighlights9999)
The Lakers are coming off a 115-107 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday. Kobe Bryant led Los Angeles with 38 points and eight rebounds. Francisco Garcia led seven Kings in double figures with 18 points off the bench. DeMarcus Cousins scored 10 along with 13 rebounds. Jimmer Fredette scored all 12 of his points in the fourth quarter,
"I did the best I could to help my team win. I'm just trying to be a good player and get out there and give a spark."
NBA CIRCLE - Sacramento Kings Vs LA Lakers Highlights March 02, 2012 Game Recap (via NEWNBACIRCLE)
Miami Heat: 28-8, first in the Southeast Division, second in the Eastern Conference, third in the NBA. On pace for 51-15. Last five: W-W-W-W-L
Los Angeles Lakers: 22-14, second in the Pacific Division, fourth in the Western Conference, eighth in the NBA. On pace for 40-26. Last five: W-W-L-W-W