The Lakers got out to an early lead and spent the rest of the game fending off Heat runs. The Heat never got the score too close, but they did hover within striking distance for most of the second half.
The Lakers had 5 players in double figures, including a career high by Jordan Farmar with 24. More remarkably, there were 4 Lakers in double figures in rebounds. The energy spent on the boards led to a lot of one-and-done in the second half and was doubtless a part of fending off the Heat runs.
On the down side, Phil pointed out that the Heat still managed to get 11 offensive rebounds and the Lakers were unable to put the Heat away until late, even though they never got too close.
Jordan’s performance highlighted another strong effort from the bench, with Jordan, Sasha and Ronny combining for 43 points. More importantly, given the game tomorrow, their play got an easier night for Pau and Derek. Also strong tonight was the interior defense. Miami didn’t attack as much in the first half, but in the second half they were more insistent about getting to the rim. However, the Lakers stood strong and got 12 blocks as a team, with 4 from Pau and 3 from Ronny. Ronny might have had a higher total still, but for a couple of foul calls.
In all, the Lakers matched the Heat in terms of energy and were able to seize and maintain the lead. They learned from some of their mistakes against the Trailblazers by paying more attention to the boards and now get to fly to Portland to have their energy tested again, now with a 10 game winning streak on the line.