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.