Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Lakers Edge Heat In Overtime

     The Miami Heat faced Kobe Bryant for the final time in his NBA career as they fell to the Los Angeles Lakers 102-100 in overtime at Staples Center on Wednesday night. The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Heat against the Lakers. Miami had beaten them 12 of the previous 13 times prior to this game.
     Dwyane Wade played in his 20th game against Bryant and finished with a record of 11-9. Bryant did not face the Heat in Miami for the past three seasons. 
     Miami(43-31) scored 13 consecutive points to go up 17-7 five minutes into the contest. They advanced their lead to 15 points at 25-10 with more than three minutes left in the first. Los Angeles(16-59) responded with 13 unanswered points and were down 27-25 after one quarter.
     The game remained close in the second quarter as the Heat pulled out to an eight-point lead just once. The Lakers trailed 48-41 at halftime as Bryant played the first nine minutes of the first half and had two points on 1-for-7 shooting from the field. He left the game and never returned to the floor. Luol Deng had 14 points at the half while Wade added 12 points.
     The Heat were outscored 26-19 in the third quarter and were tied with L.A, at the end of the frame 67-67. Los Angeles went on a 7-1 spurt to begin the fourth quarter and moved out to their biggest lead of the game 78-70 with 8:55 left. Miami came back with a 9-2 run to close the gap to 80-79 at the five-minute mark.
     After the Lakers scored four straight points, the Heat answered with six straight and took the lead 85-84 with 1:08 to go when Wade went across the paint with a finger-roll shot. Wade made a spin-away shot from the left side with 29.7 seconds left on the clock for a Miami 87-85 lead. The Lakers tied it 87-87 on two free throws made by Jordan Clarkson with 19.8 seconds to go and sent it into overtime.
     In the extra session, Clarkson and Deng matched each other with three-point shots in the first two minutes of overtime. Both teams were within three points of each other for the rest of the way. Julius Randle hit a spinning left-handed shot in the lane with 1.9 second left to give the Lakers the victory.

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