Heating Up: Lakers vs. Heat Reaction

Heating Up: Lakers vs. Heat Reaction

by January 24, 2022 2 comments

It’s almost been two years since the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers squared off in the NBA Finals. A lot has changed since then. The Lakers have been a disappointment since the season started. Miami, on the other hand, has become one of the elite teams in the league. For most of the game, Miami was in complete control. However, it got interesting late in the fourth quarter when the Lakers cut the Heat’s lead to four. In the end, Miami made a couple of big plays to seal the deal. With the win, Miami moves to 30-17 for the season.

Here are my takeaways from Sunday’s win over the Lakers.

Butler’s Triple Double

After Friday’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks, there have been questions about Jimmy Butler‘s game. Butler struggled against the Hawks and blew a huge layup in the end. But he bounced back on Sunday. It wasn’t with his scoring either. Butler put on a great passing display with 10 first-half assists. He was a master tactician on the court the way he orchestrated the Heat’s offense. When the third period came, he went into scoring mode. With his 10th rebound in the fourth quarter, he recorded his 10th triple with the Heat, passing LeBron James for 1st in franchise history. Overall, it was a good all-around game for Butler. Butler ended the night with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists.

Robinson Playing His Game

Duncan Robinson continued to look like his normal self. It wasn’t just about his shooting though. Throughout the season, we’ve seen Robinson hesitating with his shooting. Especially in front of the Heat’s home crowd. But recently, he’s been shooting with more confidence and there appears to be a breakthrough. On Sunday, he got going early. With the Lakers dropping on the pick-and-roll, it allowed Robinson to get the space he needed for an open jumper. And he made the Lakers pay for it. Once he got going from downtown, it opened up the other parts of his game as well. Robinson ended the night with 25 points.

Missing Herro

The Heat were up by as many as 26 points during this game. They also had a 19-point lead going into the fourth quarter. Then, the fourth-quarter offensive challenges came. The offense became stagnant, and the Lakers were climbed back into the game. Butler held the ball for 18 seconds before taking a bad shot. The team had stretches where they were forced to take a tough shot. These are moments where the team misses Tyler Herro. Herro has shown the ability to break down the defense and score with ease. Butler, on the other hand, has been limited in that way. While the Heat escaped with a win, late-game execution is one thing that needs to be worked on.

PJ Tucker Comes Through Late

Big Shot P.J. Tucker? Well, it seems like this season. It’s been plenty of times where Tucker has hit big shots late in the fourth quarter for Miami. It actually seems like every week. He did it again on Sunday with the Lakers closing in on Miami. With less than two minutes left in the game, Tucker hit a huge corner three to push Miami’s lead to eight. He made another huge play by drawing an offensive foul on Avery Bradley late in the game. He’s going to be huge for Miami in the playoffs.

Next Up: The New York Knicks on Wednesday. Game tips off at 7:30pm EST.

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