Lakers fall to Miami Heat, 100-94, after a tough stretch late in game

Lakers fall to Miami Heat, 100-94, after a tough stretch late in game
Heat center Chris Anderson boxes out Robert Sacre during the first half of a game Wednesday in Miami at AmericanAirlines Arena. (Joel Auerbach / Associated Press)

These games used to mean a lot, the Lakers and Miami Heat, so much so that Kobe Bryant stayed an extra hour after a Lakers loss here in 2011, angrily shooting a slew of three-pointers and mid-range jumpers until his T-shirt was wet with sweat.

He was irritated after shooting poorly that night against Miami and quickly put three Heat ballboys to work, feeding him passes and fetching his missed shots.


Ah, the Lakers' good ol' days.

The latest incarnation of the franchise continued to lose, this time to the Miami Heat, 100-94, on Wednesday in front of a partly filled AmericanAirlines Arena.

The effort was there, the talent was not, the Lakers failing to score a basket for an important 4 1/2-minute stretch late in the fourth quarter.

Nobody shot baskets afterward like a fervent Bryant. Not that he did it a lot after a loss, but this isn't that kind of season. The Lakers are now 16-44.

Miami center Hassan Whiteside had 18 points, 25 rebounds and four blocked shots for Miami, the middle stat the one that bothered Lakers Coach Byron Scott.

"Well, you've got one guy that outrebounded all our bigs. That says enough," he said.

Carlos Boozer, Robert Sacre, Ed Davis and Jordan Hill combined for 25 rebounds, so Scott wasn't entirely accurate. He didn't need to be to get his point across.

The Lakers looked fine in the first half, taking a 51-46 lead behind 12 points each from Boozer and Wayne Ellington.

But no one took the Lakers' lead very seriously. The always scary third quarter was awaiting, scythe in hand. Sure enough, the Lakers were outscored by eight.

They were OK in the fourth, though, until just after Jeremy Lin's 19-footer gave them an 88-85 lead with 5 minutes 50 seconds left. They wouldn't score another basket until Jordan Hill's layup with 1:15 to play.

They're down to only three healthy guards, so fatigue shouldn't be surprising. Davis even brought the ball upcourt on one possession. It was unintended, a bit shaky and ended shortly after he passed the midcourt stripe. (Davis was solid elsewhere, finishing with 14 points, 12 rebounds and three steals.)

The game was relatively important to the Heat (27-33) despite a blah record and no more Chris Bosh this season because of a blood clot in his lungs.

They entered the night seventh in the Eastern Conference, trying to hold off Brooklyn, Charlotte, Indiana and some more bad teams in the always exciting sub-.500 chase for the East's last couple of playoff spots.

It's not ideal, but it's something the Lakers would love to experience in their own conference. These days, the question is when.


Follow Mike Bresnahan on Twitter @Mike_Bresnahan