With two blowout losses on the road, the Los Angeles Lakers returned home against the Miami Heat on Christmas Day. While they have struggled without a true playmaker, Jordan Farmar made his return to the court after dealing with a left hamstring tear since the beginning of the month. During his absence, Los Angeles went 4-6 and hope his return will put everyone back to their natural positions.
The Los Angeles Lakers got off to a strong start as they converted on five of their six attempts to give themselves an early 12-7 lead. With the Heat running out on missed shots, the Lakers weren’t able to cut down on their fastbreak opportunities and found themselves only up by three midway through the quarter. While the Lakers were down by one on an impressive dunk by LeBron James, Ryan Kelly’s three helped ignite a 11-0 run as the Lakers had a 10 point lead. Unfortunately, the Lakers couldn’t close the quarter as James’ buzzer beater cut the Lakers’ lead down to six, 27-21.
Nick Young came out extremely aggressive in the quarter, but only converted on one shot. However, the Lakers’ bench outhustled the Heat as they were able to get numerous second chance opportunities and sustained a seven point lead. After an early timeout by Miami, Ray Allen’s three tied the game at 34 and Chris Bosh scored 10 straight points in the paint to give them a 46-39 lead. While the Lakers were down by nine points, they finished the half strong and trailed 51-46. Jodie Meeks led the Lakers with 10 points while Gasol had 9 points and 6 rebounds.
The Lakers got off to another strong start and two straight three-pointers by Meeks gave them a 57-55 lead. However, the Heat quickly regained the lead at 64-57 with a 9-0 run. After a timeout by head coach Mike D’Antoni, Nick Young scored nine straight points on LeBron James to keep the Lakers within striking distance. While both teams struggled, Rashard Lewis’ three pushed the Heat’s lead back to nine late in the third. However, the Lakers kept fighting and found themselves only down by three, 76-73. Young had 11 of his 14 points in the quarter.
Xavier Henry made three straight baskets to give the Lakers an 81-79 lead. While both teams struggled shooting, Norris Cole made a big three with the shot clock winding down to give the Heat a 88-83 lead midway through the fourth. While the Lakers continued to fight, Miami was able to establish a nine point lead late in the game. The Lakers would cut it to four within the final minute of the game, but ultimately fell to the Heat 101-95.