The Miami Heat had a nip-and-tuck affair with the LA Lakers but Kendrick Nunn had one of his biggest games of the season to give the visitors a 96-94 victory. The 2020 NBA Finals rematch was missing a number of key players from both sides but it was a game that did not lack excitement.
The Miami Heat and LA Lakers met for the first time since the 2019-20 Finals where the latter won the series by 4-2. Saturday’s win gave Erik Spoelstra's men a measure of revenge from that heartbreaking loss.
There were players who played well and those who didn’t from both sides. Let’s review the 5 hits and flops from the game between the Miami Heat and LA Lakers:
Hit: Kendrick Nunn (Miami Heat)
Kendrick Nunn was unstoppable, taking and making almost everything he threw up against the LA Lakers on his way to a 27-point outing. The Miami Heat guard made 10-of-14 from the floor and 5-of-6 3-point attempts. Nunn was all over the place including the defensive end where he had two steals and a block.
He was perhaps the biggest reason for the Heat’s strong showing against their Finals nemesis.
Flop: LeBron James (LA Lakers)
LeBron James had a difficult time putting the ball in the basket as he was repeatedly double-teamed by the Miami Heat and it gave his teammates open looks. But the LA Lakers shot just 13-of-45 from 3-point territory which pretty much doomed their chances of winning the game.
The four-time MVP had 19 points but shot a woeful 7-of-21 from the field and 1-of-8 from beyond the arc. He had a near-triple-double, though, graabbing nine boards and dishing out nine assists.
Hit: Montrezl Harrell (LA Lakers)
Montrezl Harrell came up big against the Miami Heat, picking up the slack for the injured Anthony Davis by putting up 18 points and 10 rebounds. He shot 7-of-12 from field and made all four of his free throws.
As James struggled, Harrell was a breath of fresh air for LA Lakers fans as he kept the Purple and Gold within striking distance.
Flop: Max Strus (Miami Heat)
It was a rough night for the sharp-shooting guard from DePaul. Max Strus was given multiple opportunities by the Miami Heat but he only made 1-of-9 from the field, including 0-for-8 from the 3-point line. His poor shooting allowed the LA Lakers to make a rally in the fourth quarter
Hit: Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat)
Jimmy Butler gave the Miami Heat a four-point lead by hitting two clutch free throws with 12.4 seconds remaining. That proved to be the winning margin for the match as Butler delivered in crunch time.
Butler finished with 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
The win against the LA Lakers gave the Miami Heat a two-game winning streak after losing four straight.