Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis help Lakers edge Heat in thrilling overtime contest
In a rematch of the 2020 NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers held off the Miami Heat 120-117 in an overtime thriller, that featured 33 lead changes and 14 ties.
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The Lakers (7-5) have now won their last two in a row while the Heat have dropped their last two to fall to 7-4 on the season.
Russell Westbrook had a chance to win it at the end of regulation but settled for a long three as time expired and the game went to overtime.
Let’s jump into the key takeaways from tonight’s game:
Malik Monk announces himself
Malik Monk had his best game as a Laker, finishing with 27 points on 10-of-13 from the field, six rebounds and three assists.
Monk, averaging 7.0 points and 1.8 assists in 20 minutes a night, has quietly been putting up a nice stretch of games for the Lakers following a 10-point outing against the Hornets and 13 points against the Blazers.
The fifth-year guard exploded against Miami and showed why he will be an integral piece for Los Angeles as they look to make a deep playoff run.
Inking Monk to a one-year veteran minimum contract in the off-season was viewed as a steal for Los Angeles given how old their roster was. Monk is just 23 years old and more games like tonight will help carry the offensive load while LeBron James is out. James has missed the Lakers past four games with an abdominal injury.
The Russell Westbrook experience
Westbrook notched his second consecutive triple-double finishing with 19 points, 12 assists and 12 rebounds. He is now tied for eighth-most in Lakers franchise history with Lonzo Ball and Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
Bam Adebayo making his DPOY case
Adebayo felt slighted last season when he was not one of the three names listed as finalists for the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award but make no mistake about it, the way he’s playing so far in 2021-22 will ensure he won’t get left off that list come the end of the season.
Adebayo had 28 points, 10 rebounds and six steals against the Lakers while playing some incredible defence, often bodying up Anthony Davis.
Adebayo is the anchor of a scary good Miami defence that is ranked sixth in the league for opposition points per game (103.2) and first in the league for rebounds per game as well (48.8). He is also averaging 19.3 points per game, making him one of the best two-way players in the game.
Jimmy Butler injury update
Butler exited the game after playing all 12 minutes of the first quarter. He appeared to sprain his right ankle around the 1:19 mark of the first quarter after getting tied up with Lakers guard Wayne Ellington.
Closer to halftime, the Heat made it official that the All-Star would not be returning to the game.
Butler, who left the game with seven points, two steals and an assist, will be in doubt for their next game in just 24 hours time against the LA Clippers.
The Lakers are back in action on Friday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, while the Heat stay in LA to take on the Clippers Thursday, the third game of a five-game Western Conference road trip, which will see them travel to Salt Lake City and Oklahoma City.
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