Kyle Kuzma shoots the ball in Lakers vs. Miami (2/20/21)

Lakers Fall Short vs. Miami

by Taylor Geas

Saturday night’s primetime basketball game was a special one this evening as the Lakers faced the Miami Heat in their first Finals rematch of the 2020-21 season. This game was another example of the team adjusting to the absence of Anthony Davis and Dennis Schröder. The Lake Show fell to Miami 96-94.

The Lakers' largest lead of the night was only 3 compared to the Heat’s 15-point advantage. The guys did fight back and shrink the deficit but ultimately couldn’t lock it down. A major factor of their loss was the team’s inability to close down Miami in the paint throughout the first half. Overall, the Heat had 52 points compared to the Lakers' 32 points on the inside.

With no AD, Kyle Kuzma (23 pts) has been called upon to step up in his role and tonight he reached new heights —literally and figuratively. Kuz was hot from three. He sunk a nearly impossible fadeaway triple to tip off the game. He then continued to play with urgency in the paint for the remainder of his 34 minutes on the floor granting him 8-for-21 from the field. Defensively, Kuz applied pressure to Miami’s shooters and forced them to take the hard shot which stalled their scoring in the second half.

Another purple and gold stunner that stepped up tonight was Montrezl Harrell (18 pts, 10 reb). Trez led the team in rebounds tonight. He was a target in the key, accounting for most of the Lakers’ points on the inside. His physicality for 50/50 balls was unmatched. When Monsta’ Trez goes up, he goes up with no fear and sheer force.

LeBron James (19 pts, 9 reb, 9 ast) was a consistent playmaker for his team tonight, as expected. When he wasn’t looking for the dime, he quite literally sprinted from baseline to baseline, taking on the entire Miami team. With seconds left in the game, the team was down by two and Bron made an unbelievable steal to give the Lakers a fighting chance to take back this game, but it didn’t pan out when Alex Caruso couldn’t knock down the game-tying shot at the buzzer.

Tonight’s game was a tough loss as the team continues to navigate an AD and Dennis-less rotation. The Lake Show is back Monday for more action.

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