NBA Game Preview: Miami Heat at Los Angeles Lakers

Jan 4, 2023

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Game: Miami Heat @ Los Angeles Lakers

Time: 10:00 p.m.

Odds: Heat -4.5, Lakers +4.5

Total:  229.5

The Miami Heat will try to win back-to-back games in Los Angeles on Wednesday in an effort to complete a season sweep of the Lakers in the space of a week. It has been the Heat’s most promising stretch of the season. The Heat have won four of their last five games, including victories over the Lakers at home last Wednesday (112-98) and the Los Angeles Clippers on the road this past Monday (110-100).

Miami has won eight of its past 11 games, including six of their last seven on the road, since sliding to 12-15 on Dec. 10 after a loss to the mediocre San Antonio Spurs. Bam Adebayo extended his hot streak on Monday with 31 points and 13 rebounds for the Heat. Adebayo has averaged 27.0 points and 10.5 rebounds over his previous four games, which includes his 23 points and 14 rebounds in last week’s victory over the Lakers.

Miami prevailed despite giving the Clippers, who are famed for their wild comebacks, a 21-point lead in the second quarter. With 23 points, Tyler Herro helped to stall the Los Angeles comeback. The Heat shot just 34.1 percent from the field in the second half. The Heat went on a late 7-0 run to increase their advantage back to 103-95, and they went on to win by holding the Clippers to just 17 points in the final quarter.

With forward Anthony Davis sidelined indefinitely, the Lakers are attempting to develop a sense of team toughness, with LeBron James doing his best to instill it in everyone. The Lakers have won three of their last four games overall, all on the road, since a Christmas Day loss in Dallas. The single loss within that time period occurred in Miami.

James, who turned 38 last week, has averaged 45.0 points a game in his previous two games, 34.4 points over his last ten games, and 29.0 points overall this season. On his birthday, he scored a season-high 47 points in a win at Atlanta. The next day, he scored 43 points in a 121-115 victory at Charlotte. After dropping seven of their previous ten games prior to the trip, the Lakers finished their road swing with a 3-2 record while traveling largely throughout the East Coast.

The Lakers begin a period in which they host seven out of nine games. That’s a good thing because LA is 6-3 SU in their last nine games at home. The Lakers are 3-6 ATS in their last nine games overall. Miami has won three of the last four against Los Angeles. In addition to winning four of their last five, the Heat are 4-1 ATS in their last five games. They are also 7-3 ATS in the last ten games against the Lakers.

Miami is No. 3 in the NBA in points allowed per game (109.4). On the road this season, their O/U record is 7-11-1. The total has gone Under in 11 of Miami’s last 15 games when playing on the road against the Lakers.

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