The scoreboard was the only thing flattering the Lakers Thursday night as an under the weather LeBron James torched LA to the tune of 31 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks in a typically stat stuffing domination from the league’s best player.
Kobe Bryant failed to contribute to the game’s greatest individual rivalry as James made the Lakers legend look his age, and then some. Bryant started 1/9, but started jacking, and making, a flurry of shots when the game was already over. He finished with 24.
James missed the Heat’s training session yesterday and was sent home from the shoot around last night, still suffering from the flu like symptoms that almost kept him out of the game at home to the Spurs on Tuesday night.
Miami received tidy contributions from several players, with Bosh recording 15 points and 8 rebounds, Battier with 11 points and 6 rebounds, Chalmers with 10 points and 6 assists and Udonis Haslem with 8 points and 8 rebounds.
Eddy Curry returned to the NBA for the first time since December of 2009, to a standing ovation from the sold out American Airlines Arena. Curry looked strong offensively, as ever, finishing with 6 points, but was a defensive liability, as ever, failing to rotate and close out several times of single and double picks. He will not be playing major minutes at any time throughout his undetermined tenure with Miami, and was clearly signed just for low post scoring, but will certainly need to improve his play recognition and awareness if he is to contribute in the way Miami is hoping him to.
Miami move to 10-4, level with Philly and Orlando, whilst the Lakers drop to 10-6, with a showdown in Orlando against the Magic tomorrow night. The Lakers will be one of the teams worst hit by the condensed schedule given their age, their injuries and the fact they have too many white players for anyone’s liking.
To add to the Lakers woes, they have played the most home games of any team thus far this season, already hosting 11 games at Staples (one of the 11 was ‘away’ to the Clippers, but I still classify that as a Lakers home game, regardless of the bandwagoning of Lob City), and face road games in 9 of their next 12 fixtures.
The Heat’s next game is at home to Doug Collins’ revitalised Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.
Topics: Basketball, Chris Bosh, Eddy Curry, Kobe Bryant, LA Clippers, LA Lakers, Lebron James, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Mario Chalmers, Miami Heat, NBA, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Udonis Haslem