NBA Game Preview: Los Angeles Lakers at Miami Heat

Dec 28, 2022

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Game: Los Angeles Lakers @ Miami Heat

Time:  7:30 p.m.

Odds:  Lakers +7, Heat -7

Total: 224

The Miami Heat host the Los Angeles Lakers tonight in the final game of a crucial four-game home stand. Los Angeles defeated Orlando 129-110 in the second game of its road trip last night to end a four-game losing streak. Russell Westbrook had a triple-double with 15 points, 13 rebounds, and 13 assists.

Despite making just 0-of-7 shots from beyond the three-point arc, LeBron James scored 28 points. Troy Brown Jr. scored 15 points, Lonnie Walker IV added 10, Patrick Beverley added 14, and Thomas Bryant scored 21 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.

The Lakers finally overcame some of their defensive struggles from the previous four games in the win over the Magic.  They opened their current road trip with a 124-115 loss at Dallas. In the four-game losing streak, the Lakers allowed an average of 130.5 points per game. In each of its last seven losses, the Lakers have given up at least 122 points. In their five wins since Dec. 4, Los Angeles did not allow more than 119 points.

Anthony Davis remains out of the Lakers lineup due to a stress fracture in his right foot. Davis averages 27.4 points, 12.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocked shots per game for the Lakers. Los Angeles is having a tough time filling the void created by Davis.

Miami, on the other hand, defeated Minnesota 113-110 on Monday despite the absences of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo as well as a dismal 47-of-102 shooting performance. Miami’s defense forced 22 turnovers by the Timberwolves. The Heat sealed the victory with a steal by Victor Oladipo that prevented Minnesota from scoring to force overtime.

Miami earned its first victory in three games thanks to its defense and balanced scoring effort, which saw nine players score at least seven points. Max Strus was the team’s top scorer with 19 points, including 5-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc on a night when Miami as a team shot under 27 percent from long range.

The four-time All-NBA selection Butler, whose absence on Monday marked the 13th game he has missed this season, is where Miami’s roster uncertainty begins. Butler has a sprained ankle apparently suffered in a loss to Indiana last week. Butler is listed as questionable for tonight.

Adebayo, whose scoring average of 20.8 points per game is a career-high, missed just one game on Monday. Due to a non-COVID illness, he was scratched from the lineup against Minnesota and is now listed as questionable for tonight.

The Heat are 5-2 SU in their last seven games. They have had success against the Lakers at home where they are 12-5 SU in the last 17 games. Miami is just 1-5 ATS in its last six home games.

The Lakers are 1-4 SU in their last five games. They are also 1-5 ATS in their last six and 3-6 ATS in their last nine against the Heat. Thanks to their defensive struggles, the Over is 5-0 in the Lakers’ last five games.

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