Julius Randle got the Los Angeles Lakers off to a great start. Isaiah Thomas ended the game the right way. And the Lakers are still undefeated since the All-Star break.
Randle scored 11 points in the first quarter, while Thomas reclaimed his ‘King of the Fourth’ throne with 11 in the final period as the Lakers won their fourth-straight game, 131-113 over the Miami Heat. The win snapped a nine-game losing streak in Miami for the Lakers, which dated back to the 2008 season.
Thomas led the team with a season-high 29 points to go along with six assists. He put the game out of reach with an outstanding stretch to start the fourth.
Thomas knocked down three shots from 3-point range, followed it with a layup and capped it off with a no-look alley-oop to Ivica Zubac as the Lakers extended their lead to over 20 points.
Randle had 25 points as he continued his excellent stretch of play, also adding six rebounds. Lonzo Ball had his fingerprints all over the game in his first start since returning from injury.
He finished with eight points, six rebounds, seven assists, and a career-high six steals in 34 minutes. His minutes restriction was believed to be around 30, but situations in the fourth forced Lakers head coach Luke Walton to stick with him.
Chief among those was likely the injury suffered by Brandon Ingram. After taking a hard foul late in the game, Ingram checked out and went straight to the locker room, being ruled out with groin tightness that was later called a hip flexor strain. Before leaving the game, Ingram had another great all-around performance with 19 points, five rebounds and five assists.
The Heat were led by Dwyane Wade who had another throwback performance with 25 points. Goran Dragic had 19 and seven assists, and Justise Winslow finished with 17 for a Heat team whose normally stout defense failed them.
Miami gives up just 101 points per game this season, but the Lakers had 104 after just three quarters. They shot 59.5 percent from the field, 55.2 percent from deep, and 80.8 percent from the free throw line.
The Lakers now look to finish up their four-game road trip with a clean sweep as they head to San Antonio to face what could be a short-handed Spurs team.
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