Lakers Extended Win Streak to 7 vs Heat Before Eventually Falling to the Raptors
By James Luckey Jr.
Pat Riley and the Miami Heat come to downtown Los Angeles to pay a visit to the home of the Lakers. They left seeing why the Lakers has held the leagues longest winning streak and the best defense to open the season with the Lakers winning their seventh straight 95-80. The Lakers showed up most when it mattered most, in the fourth quarter. The Lakers held the Heat to 14 points in the fourth, and at one point made the Heat miss thirteen straight shot attempts in that deciding quarter.
Anthony Davis led the team with a team-high 26 points, to go along with 8 rebounds, seven assists, and 3 blocks. LeBron James was equally as good adding 25 points, four rebounds, and 6 assists. This game marked the 1,000th career game with at least 20 points, and he only trails Karl Malone (1,134 20+ games) and Laker great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,122) in the category in league history.
Although he had great offensive numbers and eclipsed that milestone, LeBron spoke highly on the teams defensive efforts. “I Mean, to be honest, defense is just us. Period. We’ve been doing this all year. We don’t expect to hold teams at 80 points, but we expect to defend every single game, make it tough on teams and hold them under their averages. We did that once again tonight.”
Anthony Davis shared those same feelings about the defense when asked on their focus on defense. Davis said’ “ It’s our way. We want to be a good defensive team. That team scored 115 [points] a game and we know they were coming off a back-to-back. For the most part, we just wanted the run them off the [three-point] line. There number one in three-point percentage and we held them to 17 percent. So we just wanted to run them off the line and hold them to one shot.” The 80 points the Heat scored and the .171 three-point shooting percentage were both season lows. They also only converted 35 percent from the field. Heat forward Jimmy Butler let Miami with 22 points.
All that came to a sudden halt as the defending NBA Champion Toronto Raptors came in to town Sunday evening. In their first home loss of the young season the Lakers came up short 113-104. The Lakers dynamic duo led the way with LeBron posting a triple double (13 points, 13 rebounds, 15 assists) and Anthony Davis leading the team in scoring with 27 points. Kyle Kuzma also had 15 points as he beings to get his legs under him after an off season injury. Raptors forward Pascal Siakam led the Raptors with 24 points.
At press time the Lakers are 7-2 and finish the week out with a road test against the up and coming Phoenix Suns , and home games against the Golden State Warriors Wednesday night and the Sacramento Kings Friday night. The Lakers finish the week out at home Sunday against Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks.