Lakers Beat the Visiting Heat
By Cameron Buford, whatsgoodinsports.com
The Lakers are welcoming Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat into Staples for a potentially the final time in his illustrious career! The Heat come into this game 4 games under .500 and a 6-5 record on the road, while Lakers come into this game with a home record of 10-4 and just 2 games out of first place in the competitive Western Conference.
Though the Heat were the first team the score the Lakers jumped out to an 8-point lead mid-way through the first quarter. Kyle Kuzma lead the Lakers with 10 points in the quarter on 5 of 7 from the field. Wade started his final game at the Staple Center on a sour note by shooting 0-4 from the field in the quarter.
The second quarter of this game belonged to Heat. Justise Winslow led them with some hot shooting by going 3-5 from behind the three-point line. His teammate Kelly Olynyk shipped in an additional 9 points in the quarter assisting the Heat to get 35 points in the quarter. Kuzma’s 16 points in the half helped to keep the Lakers close, as the Heat took a 58-55 into the Locker Room.
The Heat and Lakers exchanged the lead 7 times in the 3rd quarter. Dwayne Wade and Lebron James matched each other with 8 points in the quarter. Though Kuzma’s 10 points lead both teams in scoring in the quarter.
This was the 31st game in which the Wade and James laced them up against each other. The series between these two champions and former teammates was tied up at 15 games apiece. However, this game being the final time these guys will share the court symbolizes the coming end of era, and Wade wasn’t ready to let that moment pass. As he finished the game with 15 Points, 10 Assists and 5 Rebounds, all his 15 points came in the second half.
Winslow added 28 points to lead six of his teammates in scoring. Olynk also matched Wade with 15 points. Though Kuzma lead all players with 33 points in the game, LeBron’s 11 points in the final quarter and 28 points for the game all but closed out the Heat. James added an additional 9 Rebounds and 12 assists to his stat sheet.
Though the basketball lives of Dwayne Wade and LeBron James have come to an end. These former teammates, who have gone to 4 consecutive NBA Finals, and long-time friends have changed the league in multiple ways. Wade and James have shown fans of the NBA that you can compete against each other and still be friends. Lebron’s charitable activities off the court will certainly be a part of his legacy, while Wade’s legacy will be that of a closer and a champion on the court, an awesome teammate and tremendous father off the court.
On the final play of the game Wade and Lebron got matched up on another, when he was asked if he got switched on to Lebron or did you demand it, he confidently responded by saying “Yeah I demanded it; I knew this was going to be the last time I was going to be able to guard him.” Wade went on to say, “I’m going to be retired so long, people will forget we were drafted in the same draft class. That’s how long he’s going to be around.”
For this to be a regular season game in December this game surely felt like a playoff game of sorts. The stars from Will Ferrell, Denzel Washington to Kevin Costner were in the building for Dwayne Wades final game in Staples Center. This 3-time Champion and Finals MVP will walk right into the Basketball Hall of Fame and will no doubt be just as eager to welcome Lebron in the Hall, whenever he finally decides to wrap up his career. Please let me know how you will remember Dwayne Wades career and share your favorite moments of D Wade with us by commenting in the comment section of this article on www.whatsgoodinsports.com or reaching out to us @whatsgoodinsports on Twitter.