The Los Angeles Lakers take on the Miami Heat today in a NBA Finals rematch on TNT. This game is far from what the Lakers look liked in the NBA Finals. The injury report for the Lakers is LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Kyle Kuzma all have been ruled out. Talen Horton-Tucker will serve his suspension today. The NBA suspended Talen for leaving the bench last game when Dennis Schroder, and OG Anunoby got into a scuffle.
Andre Drummond is back from his foot injury, and newly signed Ben Mclemore will both be available tonight. The Lakers are looking to start a new win streak with a win tonight against the Heat. The Miami Heat are looking to avoiding a losing streak as they enter this game coming off a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. On paper for this game the Lakers big underdogs to win this game.
The three keys for the Lakers this game will be to hit their open 3 pointers, play stout defense on the perimeter, and to limit turnovers. If the Lakers play well to these three areas they can steal this win. Let’s dive in and see what this game has in store for us.
The first quarter starts with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hitting a mid range jumper for the Lakers. So far the Heat are attacking the paint, and are putting pressure on Lakers interior defense. The Heat have scored 6 points with 4 of them coming from the paint, and 2 from a Bam Adebayo mid range jumper. The Heat continue to attack the paint, and have drawn 3 fouls on the Lakers in the quarter. Miami is now 5 for 7 from the field, and is 9 for 9 at the free throw line.
The Lakers lack of interior defense could be a sign of things to come. If the Heat keep attacking, drawing fouls, and scoring in the paint it will free their shooters up. Will see if the Lakers can clean up their defense inside the paint. The Lakers need to apply pressure onto Miami’s defense as well, and draw some fouls on them as well.
KCP En Fuego!
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is off to a hot start this game scoring 7 points. Lakers from the beyond the arc are now shooting 3 of 4. Which will be a key factor for the Lakers to make this game competitive. Andre Drummond has come alive and is giving the Lakers an offensive paint presence. Lakers desperately needs this as in the past they would solely depend on their hot shooting to win them games. Now they can get easy baskets which can lead to clean open looks from the perimeter.
A surprising development from Drummond is his passing vision. Drummond is making decisions, and great passes from the paint. Let’s see if it continues to trend this game. The Lakers foul trouble continue to plague them. Miami has shot 18 free throws, and have made 16 of them. The first quarter is over, and the Lakers have made this a competitive game. If the Lakers can avoid getting Miami into the bonus early they surely can win this game. The Lakers enter the second quarter down 32-27.
The Lakers start the quarter attacking the paint. Which leads to the Lakers finally getting to the free throw line. Montrezl Harrell makes 1 of 2 free throws to start the quarter. Jimmy Butler comes right back and hits a 3 for Miami. Jimmy Butler now has 9 points on 3 of 3 shooting. The Heat are slowly pulling away, and have increased their lead to 11.
I would not be surprised if Frank Vogel inserts some of the starters back into the game to keep this game to get the lead back down. Right as I state this Vogel calls a timeout after they can’t cut into the lead. We’ll see coming out of the timeout who is inserted into the game.
Coming out the timeout to resume the second quarter Vogel has taken out Alfonzo Mckinnie, and Ben McLemore for Caldwell-Pope, and Markieff Morris. The substitutions have made an immediate impact offensively for the Lakers. Caldwell-Pope hits a 3 pointer, and Morris has scored back to back baskets to cut the lead to 5 points. The Heat now take a timeout. We’ll see what adjustments the Heat make coming out of the timeout.
Lakers Continue to Keep it Close
Calling a timeout evidently didn’t help the Heat. The Lakers continue to make great plays, and are hitting their shots. With 3:42 left in the quarter the Lakers have taken the lead 51-49. The Lakers are now shooting 50% from 3 point range. Miami continues to struggle with their shooting from the perimeter. The Heat have been leading for the most part is because of their free throw shooting, and attacking of the paint from the first quarter.
However this quarter the free throw shooting has flipped. The Lakers this quarter have now made 11 of 13 free throws. While the Heat this quarter have only made 1 of 2 free throws for the quarter. The first half has been a story of two different tales for each team. The Lakers are now the aggressors this quarter, and their defense in the paint has cleaned up compared to that of the first quarter.
Miami is no longer getting those calls as they are attacking the paint, and aren’t hitting their shots from the perimeter as well. The second quarter is over and Lakers bounce back from that first quarter and take 2 point lead into halftime of 56-54.
An injury update to keep an eye on via Mike Trudell is into regards of Alex Caruso
Key highlights for the Lakers are Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell, and Wesley Matthews. Caldwell-Pope thus far has 15 points with 3 of 4 shooting from 3. Montrezl has been huge because of Drummond getting into early foul trouble has 10 points, and 5 rebounds. Wesley Matthews has 11 points with 2 steals.
Lakers just need to keep up their shooting from the perimeter, and their defense. Their defense is what keeps the Lakers even with out LeBron, and Anthony Davis in these ball games. The Lakers defense this game alone has forced 12 Miami Heat turnovers in the first half. Let’s see wha this second half entails for our Los Angeles Lakers.
The quarter starts with Andre Drummond attacking Bam aggressively and drawing the foul. Drummond makes the two free throws take an early 4 point lead. However Miami quickly erases the lead and has tied the game. The Lakers aren’t doing themselves favors as they have turned the ball over 4 times within the first 3 minutes of this quarter.
An update has been provided regarding Alex Caruso via Mike Trudell
We’ll keep an eye out to see if Alex Caruso comes back to the game. The Lakers because of the turnovers find themselves fighting back into the game instead of holding a lead. The Lakers so far have looked like a completely different team than the one in the first half. With the Lakers being lackadaisical with the ball have allowed Miami to take roar back and take a lead this quarter 68-64.
Miami is starting to pull away a big again. Duncan Robinson is fouled by Caldwell-Pope from 3 point range thus creating an opportunity for a 4 point play. Miami has 30 points alone off turnovers. Which should just tell you despite the Lakers effort on both sides of the ball are begging Miami to take this game when you give that many points off turnovers.
The third quarter has come to an end. The Lakers clawed back, took better care of the ball, and for most of the quarter played great defense. Lakers go into the 4th quarter down 83-30. Lakers this quarter turned over the ball 9 times just like they did in the 1st quarter. Let’s see if they turn it around just in time to steal a win in Miami.
Miami starts the quarter and expands their lead to 8 points. This is a crucial part for this current Lakers lineup on the floor to not let this lead get out of hand. The Lakers must keep this game close for the starters. If it’s close enough this is a game the Lakers can surely steal this one.
Turnovers are now becoming a real issue for the Lakers as well to start this quarter. Miami defense is stifling the Lakers on the perimeter, getting their hands on the passes, and rotating quickly making things difficult for the Lakers offensively.
Dennis Schroder this game has still yet to hit a shot this game shooting 0 for 9. If Lakers are going to complete this comeback they must get better scoring out put from their starting point guard. Halfway thru the quarter now, and Lakers have comeback to cut the lead down to 3. Lakers come back and play stifling defense of their own.
Jimmy Butler is sensing the moment is now controlling the moment. Scoring a mid range jumper and getting Tyler Herro open for a mid range jumper gives the Heat a 7 point lead. Markieff Morris just picked up two technicals at the worst time possible. With 2:24 left in the game it should put this game out of reach for the Lakers now.
The Lakers are going to lose this game 108-100. Valiant effort from the Lakers but turnovers cost them this game today.
The Lakers for the most part of the game played well defensively, and in spurts shooting the ball. Nothing more can be said today about Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Caldwell-Pope ended the game with 28 points, and 6 of 11 shooting from 3 point range. Dennis Schroder had an up and down game. Schroder had a game high 14 assists. However Schroder also committed 7 turnovers as well. For what I will call his first game Andre Drummond I thought played well. Andre contributed 15 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 steals. What killed the Lakers from stealing this game is their turnovers as a team. They committed 22 turnovers which allowed Miami to score 33 points off those turnovers.
Watching the game today was an effort you can appreciate the Lakers playing with even in a losing effort. Just clean up the turnovers, and they’ll be able to steal some games they shouldn’t be. The Lakers next game will be against the Brooklyn Nets this Saturday at 4:30pm. It will be a tough game without LeBron James, and Anthony Davis. Hopefully the Lakers can have some more fire power offensively with Horton-Tucker back, and maybe Kyle Kuzma will be back as well. Please follow me Twitter @Real_Ajay_Virk and @thePeachBasket_ for your latest Lakers, and NBA news. See you guys next game.
Vs Brooklyn Nets, Sunday, April 10th at 5:30PM Pacific
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