It was all about LeBron James and Dwyane Wade for the final time before and after the game. During the contest between the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, however, it was Kyle Kuzma who may have been the best player on the floor.
Continuing his outstanding level of play, Kuzma led all scorers with 33 points, to go along with 7 rebounds as the Lakers escaped with a 108-105 victory. The game was the fifth straight with at least 20 points for Kuzma, who is averaging 25 points and 8.2 rebounds on 52.7 percent shooting over that same stretch.
James was far from a slouch himself, nearly notching a triple-double with 28 points, 12 assists and 9 rebounds. Wade, meanwhile, finished with 15 points, 10 assists and 5 rebounds in a losing effort. The two were matched up on the game’s final possession as James forced Wade into a tough three-point attempt that missed badly.
After the game James and Wade shared a beautiful moment, exchanging jerseys on the court following a heartfelt conversation after the final buzzer sounded.
The game was a sloppy affair at numerous times. Though the Lakers had just 12 turnovers to Miami’s 17, their mistakes were often of their own doing, trying to make a spectacular play instead of a simple one.
One particular sequence saw Lance Stephenson turn the ball over trying to make an unnecessary extra pass after an excellent pass from Lonzo Ball. When the Lakers got the ball back, Stephenson fired a beautiful full-court pass to Ball, who immediately threw it away trying to make a behind-the-back pass instead of taking the layup, leading to an exasperated look on the face on head coach Luke Walton.
Despite that, Ball was a catalyst for the Lakers on both ends, finishing with 10 points, 7 rebounds 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 11 points off the bench.
Miami was lead by Justise Winslow who poured in a career-high 28 points, including six 3-pointers. Derrick Jones Jr. scored 8 points to go along with 14 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocks.