Below are five things to take from the Lakers’ 101-95 loss to the Miami Heat Christmas Day at Staples Center:
1. The Heat’s talent proved too overwhelming. Credit the Lakers for scrapping. But there’s very little the Lakers could do. Dwyane Wade (23 points) threw up reverse layups and step-back jumpers. Chris Bosh met little resistance in the post en route to 23 points. LeBron James’ 16 points reflected a never-ending quest to bully his way to the basket off drives and lobs. It also didn’t help the Lakers went through a four-minute stretch midway through the fourth quarter where they went 0-of-5 from the field and committed two turnovers.
2. Nick Young played aggressively. His statistical line of 20 points on 7 of 17 shooting suggests he took some erratic shots. But he didn’t. Young made timely baskets, including a four-point play over James and a 3-pointer that cut the Heat lead to 96-91 with 1:51 remaining. Young even guarded James on certain possessions where the Heat star didn’t score. All in all, Young played a complete game where he showed both his aggressiveness and deft scoring touch.
3. Pau Gasol still didn’t look sharp. As indicated by Bosh’s play, Gasol’s defense remained non-existent. Although Gasol finished with 13 points on 6-of-12 shooting and 12 rebounds, he hardly looked like he felt comfortable with his movement. Chalk it up to a lack of aggressiveness and respiratory issues still lingering
4. The Lakers struggled at the free throw line: Had the Lakers shot better than 15-of-26 from the foul line, this would’ve been a different game. The most egregious offender included Jordan Hill (5-of-9) and Jodie Meeks (4-of-10).
5. Jordan Farmar sparked the offense, but he looked rusty. Farmar played a large part in ensuring the Lakers’ offense stayed organized and the ball movement remained fluid.But he looked out of rhythm. He posted only three points on 1-of-6 shooting. two assists and four turnovers in 22 minutes. Farmar committed a traveling violation and made a foolish pass in traffic both on fast-break opportunities that could’ve resulted in the Lakers tightening in on the Heat.
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