Lakers vs. Heat: Lakers lose in Miami
The Lakers fell apart in the final minutes and the Miami Heat snapped a five-game losing streak Thursday at American Airlines Arena.
Kobe Bryant had two turnovers in the final two minutes, including one in which he lost the ball while going up for a shot down low with 40.9 seconds left and the Lakers down four. He finished with 24 points.
The Lakers had an eight-game winning streak snapped and fell to 2-1 on a four-game trip that ends Saturday in Dallas.
Andrew Bynum came alive after a forgettable first half, finishing with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Chris Bosh had 24 points for Miami, Dwyane Wade had 20 and LeBron James had 19 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.
Lakers 70, Heat 68 (end of third quarter)
Andrew Bynum is starting to heat up, but neither team can really break away.
Bynum had a much more productive third quarter, getting four points and seven rebounds after having only six and one at halftime.
Dwyane Wade is having a miserable shooting night, scoring 12 points on five-for-16 shooting. LeBron James has 14 points.
Kobe Bryant has 18 points and Pau Gasol has 16.
Heat 55, Lakers 53 (halftime)
Chris Bosh is getting his touches this time.
The Lakers are also being burned by Heat backups Mike Miller (11 points) and Mario Chalmers (nine points).
Kobe Bryant has 17 points and Pau Gasol has 14 for the Lakers. Center Andrew Bynum has six points and only one rebound in 16 minutes.
Heat 29, Lakers 26 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers' defense took a small step back in the first quarter, surrendering numerous open looks Thursday against Miami.
Heat guard Mario Chalmers had nine points, all on three-pointers.
Kobe Bryant had 12 points and Pau Gasol had eight. Andrew Bynum had two points and no rebounds in the first quarter.
The Lakers are in much better shape than they were three weeks ago. The same can't be said about Miami, loser of five consecutive games.
An hour before the teams' meeting Thursday at American Airlines Arena, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson didn't seem enamored of the Heat's offense.
"I’m not a big fan of the style that Miami plays," he said. "I like to see everybody involved in the game, so I think that’s very important in basketball. That’s what I’ve tried to preach as a basketball coach even though we have a guy that dominates the ball in Kobe [Bryant].
“That basketball is very much in standing with Xbox games or whatever those games are where you play one on one. Basketball is not a one-on-one game. It’s a team game.”
The Lakers have won six consecutive games, thanks to a sharpened offense and a solid defense. They lost to the Heat on Christmas Day, 96-80.
-- Mike Bresnahan, reporting from Miami
Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant tries to stop a drive by Heat forward LeBron James in the first half Thursday night in Miami. Credit: Andrew Innerarity / Reuters