Here is a by-the-numbers look at the Lakers’ 78-75 loss to the Miami Heat.
Shots made by Miami outside the paint in the first half. The Heat went off for 38 paint points through the first two quarters, while also pitching in six points at the free throw line. Miami couldn’t find its shot, however, from outside the paint, going 0-for-13 in the first half and 4-for-30 through the whole game. Still, the Heat, which entered the game scoring the second-fewest paint points in the league, bullied L.A. down low. Led by 14 points in the paint from both Mario Chalmers and Hassan Whiteside, the Heat outscored the Lakers in that area, 58-40.
Miami Shot Chart
Lakers who scored a team-high 12 points. Ed Davis, Jordan Hill and Kobe Bryant each pitched in a dozen points, but none could score any more. Aside from Davis (6-for-7), the Lakers starters struggled mightily, shooting just 11-for-48 (22.9 percent) from the field. Bryant was especially cold, as he went 3-for-19 and started the game 1-for-11.
Points racked up by Miami before the Lakers scored. It took the Lakers until the 4:23 mark of the first quarter to get on the scoreboard, by which time they were already down by the game’s biggest margin. Yet L.A. fought back, scoring nine unanswered points to cut the Heat’s lead down to one with 10:18 left in the game. However, the Lakers never managed to grab the lead, as Bryant hit a 3-pointer with 31.3 seconds left to bring the game within three, but he missed the game-tying, buzzer-beating triple.
“We just got off to a terrible start, offensively and defensively,” head coach Byron Scott said. “They got layup after layup. I’ve never seen this stat before: where a team has 44 points before halftime, and they had 38 points in the paint and (shot) six-of-seven from the free throw line. I’ve never seen that.
“That was something we addressed and talked about because our pregame talk was to make this team an outside, jump-shooting team. We just didn’t do the things we were supposed to do to start the game, and I thought we were a step behind and a step slow for whatever reason. We dug ourselves a hole, and it’s just hard to keep skating uphill for an entire game.”
Rebounds grabbed by Miami, which began the contest averaging a league-low 36.5 boards per game. Despite having outrebounded each of their last four opponents, the Lakers struggled to contain the Heat on the glass, where Miami enjoyed a six-rebound edge. Despite both sides missing an absurd number of shots (see below), Whiteside and Tarik Black finished as the game’s leading rebounders with just nine apiece.
Shots missed by both teams combined. Despite allowing such a huge outburst to begin the game, the Lakers held the Heat to an opponent-low 78 points by limiting the visitors to a 38.1 percent clip (24-for-63) after they took their initial 18-point lead. The Lakers, however, suffered similar shooting issues, going just 29-for-92 (31.5 percent), including 4-for-23 (17.4 percent) on 3-pointers.
Lakers Shot Chart
“The last couple of days we were talking about embracing the lunch pail of tough, defensive-minded necessary efforts that we have to make,” Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “This might have been our toughest minded win of the season. We’re going through long stretches without making shots, but that didn’t affect our defensive commitment at all throughout the course of the game.”