The Los Angeles Lakers looked out of the game after three quarters of play, but a balanced attack on offense had them within single digits of the reigning NBA champions on the road Thursday night. However, Miami woke from its slumber in the final minutes behind a solid performance from Chris Bosh as the Heat won, 109-102.
A severely under-manned Lakers team got out to a quick shooting start against the Heat, scoring 27 points in the first quarter before going ice cold as Pau Gasol sat on the bench to open the second quarter. Miami battened down the hatches and only allowed L.A. just 19 points in the period as the Heat took a commanding 57-46 lead into the half.
Miami opened up a huge lead starting the third quarter, pressuring the Lakers defensively on every possession. Los Angeles eventually responded with a run to open the fourth quarter, but didn't get closer than five points at any given time.
Eventually, both Ray Allen and LeBron James made big shots with less than five minutes left to seal the win for the Heat. Bosh was phenomenal for Miami in the fourth quarter, going 5-for-5 en route 31-point effort for the game.
Gasol led the Lakers with 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting, adding 11 rebounds, four assists and three steals. Jodie Meeks was a surprise scorer with 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting, adding two steals but just one assist. Nick Young dropped 19 points on 8-of-20 shooting off the bench.
Bosh was the star of the night for Miami, scoring 31 points on 15-of-22 shooting along with six rebounds and one block. James added another 27 points on 9-of-15 shooting, plus a game-high 13 rebounds. He also recorded six assists.
The win moves Miami to 31-12 on the year as the Heat tighten their stranglehold on second place in the Eastern Conference. Los Angeles drops to 16-27, third from the bottom in the West above Sacramento and Utah.