Lakers Fall In Final Minutes To Miami, Win Streak Snapped At Eight

The Lakers travel to Dallas on Saturday.

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Eight Is Enough: Lakers Win Streak Snapped With 94-88 Loss To Heat

The Los Angeles Lakers had every opportunity to win tonight's game with the Miami Heat, but couldn't get it done. LeBron James scored 19 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and had nine assists, and the Heat snapped their five-game losing streak, beating the Lakers 94-88. The win snapped an eight-game winning streak for the Lakers.

The Lakers were down by two at halftime, 55-53, but they turned up the defense in the second half, much as they have all throughout their winning streak. The Lakers held Miami to just 39 points in the second half. However, the Lakers couldn't hit any shots themselves, making just 12 of 41 field goals in the second half, a paltry 29.3%. Kobe Bryant scored 24 points to lead the Lakers, but scored only seven in the second half, and had two key turnovers in the final two minutes, turning an 88-88 tie into a Laker loss.

Andrew Bynum didn't do much in the first half, with six points and one rebound, but he was assertive in the second half, and finished with a double-double, with 13 points and 12 boards. Pau Gasol scored 20 for the Lakers, but only grabbed five rebounds. Miami outrebounded the Lakers 46-37 on the night.

The Lakers held James and Dwyane Wade to 16-for-40 shooting from the field, but were burned by Chris Bosh, who paced the Heat with 24 points and nine boards. Miami swept the season series with the Lakers, 2-0. The Lakers conclude their road trip Saturday night in Dallas.

For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Vs. Heat: Kobe Leads All Scorers With 17, Miami Leads 55-53 At Half

The much-hyped second matchup of the season between the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat has lived up to the advanced billing with an exciting first half. Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 17 points, but the Heat took a 55-53 lead at halftime. The Lakers are looking for their ninth straight victory, while the Heat are trying to avoid a sixth straight loss.

Much was made of the Lakers' advantage down low heading into the game, but Miami outrebounded the Lakers 23-15 and grabbed 12 offensive rebounds on 24 field goal misses in the first 24 minutes. Andrew Bynum was held to just six points and one rebound in his 16 minutes, but Pau Gasol scored 14 points and grabbed three boards.

Chris Bosh led the Heat with 16 points in the first half. The Lakers did a good job on LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, limiting them to 15 points in 6-of-18 shooting, but Mike Miller scored 11 off the bench and point guard Mario Chalmers added nine points.

The Lakers shot 52.9% in the first half and got to the free throw line 15 times, compared to nine for Miami. If they can somehow find a way to get Bynum and Gasol more active in the game, especially on the glass, the Lakers should find a way to win this game. During their eight-game winning streak, the Lakers have trailed at halftime on the road three times, but held those three opponents to an average of 35 points in the third and fourth quarters.

For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Vs. Heat: Starting Lineups

The Los Angeles Lakers look for their ninth straight win tonight, facing the slumping Miami Heat, losers of five straight games, in a nationally televised game on TNT. The Lakers are still smarting from their Christmas Day defeat at the hands of Miami, and would no doubt like to return the favor to the Heat on their home floor. With the game about to get underway, here are tonight's starting lineups:

Lakers (46-19)

Heat (43-21)

Before the game, Lakers' coach Phil Jackson had some fun with the Heat, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

Phil Jackson's "farewell" tour is just gold for quotes. Said before game Heat's offense was like "XBox" because of all the 1-on-1.

In Las Vegas, the Lakers are anywhere from one to two-point favorites tonight.

For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Vs. Heat: LeBron James As Evil Santa, Kobe Bryant Seeks Revenge For Christmas Day

Sometimes basketball is a simple game. The Los Angeles Lakers have won eight straight games, and are tonight facing a Miami Heat team that has lost five straight contests. However, it would be foolish to simply write the Heat off. After all, they did place a whooping on the Lakers, 96-80 on Christmas Day, that still sticks in their craw.

On the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll, Dexter Fishmore sees red when thinking of Christmas 2010:

December 25, 2010 was not a proud moment for Lakerdom. For the second year in a row, LeBron James dropped down our chimney like a Super-Evil Santa, ripped out our heart and held it aloft for the world to see. Neither Ron Artest nor Matt Barnes nor anyone else employed by the Lakers had a hope of stopping him, as he piled up 27 points, 10 assists, 11 rebounds, four steals and just a single turnover en route to a 96 to 80 asskicking. That made three straight victories for LeBron over the champs. Despite all the talk of how signing Artest would endow the Lakers with a pitbull defender who could slow down LBJ, the Lakers have yet to defeat him in the Ron-Ron era.

David Dwork of Peninsula Is Mightier sees the Lakers center as the, ahem, pivotal player in tonight's contest:

One reason that L.A. is doing so well is the defensive surge that has come from their center, Andrew Bynum.  The young Lakers center has been blocking shots left and right.  He has at least one in every game of their winning streak, and hasn't had a game without a block since January 28th, a stretch of 17 games.  Over the last couple weeks he has had games with 5 and 6 blocked shots, and in those games he committed a total of 1 foul.

Tonight's 4 p.m. PST game will be nationally televised on TNT.

For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers, Looking For Ninth Straight Win, Face The Heat In Miami On TNT

The Los Angeles Lakers are playing their best basketball of the season right now, and will try to win their ninth straight game tonight, continuing their road trip against the Miami Heat, losers of their last five games, in a nationally televised game on TNT. While LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and the Heat are frustrated about their current losing streak, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers aren't in the best of moods either, as they try to avenge Miami's 96-80 Christmas Day domination at Staples Center.

The Lakers are clicking on offense and defense right now, and they have held each of their last five opponents to 87 points or less. Center Andrew Bynum has averaged 12.1 points and 3.0 blocks per contest in the Lakers' eight-game winning streak, and will be the difference, the Lakers hope, between tonight's game and the Christmas loss. Bynum had just six points and five rebounds in 18 minutes against Miami back in December, but that was only Bynum's sixth game back off knee surgery. Now, a fully healthy Bynum is wreaking havoc.

James had a triple-double in the Heat win on Christmas, with 27 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists, one of three double-doubles this season for LeBron. He also had another double-double at Staples Center, at the All-Star Game last month, with 29 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. Of the Heat's five straight losses, four have been at home.

For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.

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