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Kobe Bryant returns, but Lakers can't keep up with Miami Heat

Kobe Bryant scores 12 points on 3 of 19 shooting in Lakers' loss to the Miami Heat, 78-75

Miami Heat 78 - Lakers 75 (end of regulation)

In a dreadful shooting night for both teams, the Miami Heat held on to beat the Lakers by six points on Tuesday night at Staples Center.

The Lakers spotted the Heat the first 18 points, yet somehow managed to compete, despite shooting just 31.5% from the field.

Kobe Bryant returned after missing three of four games to rest, looking like a player who needed even more rest. Bryant missed 16 of 19 shots, including a three-pointer at the buzzer that would have forced overtime.

Jordan Hill, Ed Davis and Bryant led the Lakers with 12 points each.

Mario Chalmers scored 19, including four late to help preserve the lead for the Heat. Miami shot 42.3% from the field, but missed 14 of 16 three-point attempts (12.5%). The Heat also had 19 turnovers – the Lakers had 12.

The poor shooting was prevalent throughout most of the Lakers' roster with Wesley Johnson missing 10 of 13, Ronnie Price didn’t connect on all four of his tries, Carlos Boozer whiffing on seven of eight, Nick Young nine of 11 and Hill seven of 12.

Bucking the trend, Ryan Kelly scored seven on three perfect attempts. Ed Davis his six of seven shots.

Hassan Whiteside added 15 points and nine rebounds off the bench for the Heat. Tarik Black scored nine with nine boards for the Lakers.

Neither team, despite 108 misses from the field, had a player with double-digit rebounds.

Dwyane Wade left the game in the second quarter with what was reported as a mild hamstring strain. The All-Star guard scored four points in 14 minutes.

With the loss, the Lakers fell to 12-27. They'll host the Cleveland Cavaliers (19-20) on Thursday night at Staples Center. The Heat (17-21) play on Wednesday, visiting the Golden State Warriors (30-5).

Heat 61 - Lakers 53 (end of third quarter)

The Lakers shooting struggles continued, but a hot start in the third quarter helped the team close to within two points of the Heat.

Kobe Bryant's three-point attempt, that would have given the Lakers their first lead of the game, rimmed out. Miami responded, pushing the lead back to eight by the end of the period.

Bryant scored six points, missing nine of 10 shots. Jordan Hill and Ed Davis led the Lakers with 10 apiece, as the team shot just 28.0% from the field.

The Heat got 11 from Hassan Whiteside and 10 from both Mario Chalmers and Chris Andersen, shooting 44.8% from the field.

A total of 46 of Miami's 61 points were scored in the paint.

Dwyane Wade didn't return in the third, with what was reported as a mild hamstring strain.

Heat 44 - Lakers 34 (halftime)

The Lakers and Heat tied for 22 points apiece in the second quarter, giving Miami a 10-lead at the half.

Considering the Lakers shot just 25.5% from the field, led by Nick Young with seven off the bench. Kobe Bryant and Jordan Hill both added six. Bryant missed eight of nine shots.

The Heat were led by Hassan Whiteside with 11 points. Dwyane Wade left the game for the locker room in the second quarter after, scoring four points in 14 minutes. His status is unclear.

Miami shot 47.5% from the field. Chris Andersen added eight points while Chris Bosh scored six.

Ryan Kelly continued to get minutes as the backup small forward, moving Nick Young to shooting guard behind Bryant.Wayne Ellington didn't play in the first half.

Heat 22 - Lakers 12 (end of first quarter)

The Heat embarrassed the Lakers in the first, 18 points of the game with the Lakers missing their first 11 shot attempts.

Kobe Bryant finally broke the spell, a full seven minutes and 37 seconds into the period, hitting a pull-up jumper. The Lakers responded with a 12-4 run, ending the quarter down 10.

Nick Young led the Lakers with seven points. The team shot just 18.2% from the field.

Hassan Whiteside scored eight of the bench for Miami in seven minutes. The Heat shot 54.2% from the field.


The Lakers (12-26) host the Miami Heat (16-21) on Tuesday night at Staples Center.

Kobe Bryant is expected to return after sitting out three of the Lakers' last four games to rest. Josh McRoberts (knee) is out for the Heat.

The Lakers are also missing Julius Randle (knee) and Steve Nash (back).

Read a preview of the Lakers vs. the Heat.

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus

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