Lakers fall to Heat, 101-88, as Bryant rests
Kobe Bryant took the night off to rest and the Lakers lost their second in a row, falling to the Heat in Miami, 101-88.
Bryant was a late scratch by the team, which chose to rest a sore back instead of playing him on two straight nights. The Lakers (1-6) play in Orlando against the Magic (3-5) on Wednesday.
Despite playing without their veteran All-Star, the Lakers kept close to the Heat throughout the first half before falling behind late in the third. Chris Bosh took over, finishing with 30 points and 11 rebounds, to help his team coast through the fourth period with their second straight victory.
The Lakers also were dominated by center Hassan Whiteside, who notched a double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds with three blocked shots. Luol Deng added 14 points while Dwyane Wade scored 12.
The outside shooting of Nick Young and Metta World Peace helped the Lakers remain competitive in Miami. Young scored a team-high 17 points while hitting five of his nine three-point attempts. World Peace added 14 points on a perfect four for four from outside.
Lou Williams (14 points) and Jordan Clarkson (12) hit double figures, while D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle struggled against the veteran Heat.
In just 21 minutes, least of the five starters, Russell scored four points with four assists and two turnovers. Randle scored seven points with seven rebounds and four assists in 25 1/2 minutes.
As a team the Lakers shot 44.2% from the field and an impressive 50% from three-point range (11-22) but attempted just 12 free throws (making nine, 75.0%). Miami hit 45.2%, 25.0% (5-2) and 74.1% (20-27), respectively. Miami was the aggressor, with a 15-shot advantage at the line.
The Lakers also turned the ball over 18 times to Miami’s 12 miscues. The Lakers dished 21 assists on 34 baskets; Miami collected 23 on 38.
World Peace got the start in place of Bryant. Veteran Marcelo Huertas made his way back into the rotation, finishing with four assists in 15 minutes.
The Heat (5-3) next host the Utah Jazz (4-3) on Thursday.
Email Eric Pincus at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.
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