Video Credit: NBA

Recap: Lakers vs Heat – NBA Finals – Game 3

Los Angeles Lakers (14-4)  |  Miami Heat (13-5)


The Lakers finished the first half of this game trailing 54-58.



Lakers vs Heat
Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports

The Miami Heat revealed just before tip-off that Bam Adebayo would not play in this game. The Lakers also decided to start Dwight Howard once again. 

The Lakers were trailing after the first quarter, 23-26. They struggled to pass the ball, playing sloppy basketball with ten turnovers. Anthony Davis did not attempt a shot. He had 4 of the turnovers and two offensive fouls with much earlier than anyone would’ve liked. He was being double-teamed and tightly guarded in the paint, so he could not find an opportunity to get open. The Heat’s points were all divided in the first quarter, but Jimmy Butler was their leading scorer with 8 points. 

The Lakers also struggled to score when they did not turn it over. Until the last minute of the first quarter, the only players to have points were LeBron James and Howard. It was not until that last minute that they sparked a comeback. Markieff Morris scored 5 points off the bench while Kyle Kuzma scored 6, bringing the Lakers down 3 points to end the quarter.



In the second quarter, Morris hit a three right away to tie the game 26-26.



Photo Credit: Lakers Nation

From there, Davis scored his first points, hitting a three to take a 29-28 lead. The lead would go back and forth as the Heat’s intense chemistry caught up with James and the Lakers bench. Butler scored 19 points off 8 for 12 shooting from the floor, carrying the Heat at the end of the half. Other than James with 16 points, it was Morris and Kuzma who led the Lakers in points. Morris was 3 for 7 with 10 points while Kuzma was 3 for 6 with 9. James was 5 for seven from the floor with six assists and six rebounds. 

The reason this game was still close at this point was because of James and the Lakers bench. Alex Caruso was also a spark, scoring 7 points, 4 of which were from free throws. Davis only had 5 points to end the half, while Howard only had 4. The Lakers bench scored 29 of their teams 54 points for the half. 



The Lakers ended up losing the game 104-115. 



Photo Credit: DraftKings Nation

The third quarter of this game was the Jimmy Butler show. Buckets had 30 points to end the third quarter while his second-highest scorers in Duncan Robinson, Jae Crowder, and Kelly Olynyk only had 10 points each. Davis heated up to keep the Lakers in the game though, he had 15 points by the end of the third and only had five at the end of the first half.

The Lakers bench started to slow down, which is when the Heat kept their lead consistently. Every time the Lakers would come close because of Davis or James, Butler would fire back. Butler played an unpredictable offense, driving in the paint then shooting a bunch of mid ranges to confuse the Laker’s defense. Even though the Laker’s defense was contesting many of his shots, he could not miss on this night. That’s why the Heat ended the third quarter with an 85-80 lead. 

The fourth quarter was a replica of the third. Butler hit shot after shot, no matter who was in his face. Morris heated up again and scored 19 points, but it was not enough to stop Butler. Butler finished the game with 40 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists. Herro and Olynyk both had 17 points, but Butler assisted most of them

The Lakers didn’t play an awful game outside of Davis, disappearing when it mattered. Davis did not score a single point in the 4th quarter as The bench scored their points and kept them in the game. The only way the Lakers could’ve won this one the game was to have Davis or James go off and match Butler’s points or lower the number of shots from their inconsistent players. Danny Green was 0 for six from the floor, and Rajon Rondo was 2 for 8.



No matter how the Lakers played after the horrendous first quarter, winning when Butler was playing that good was nearly impossible to do. The Lakers look to rebound from this loss in game 4.  Game 4 is scheduled for Tuesday at 6:00 pm and it airs on ABC.




NBA Finals schedule (All times PT)

  • Game 1 – Lakers 116 – Heat 98
  • Game 2 – Lakers 124 – Heat 114
  • Game 3 – Heat 115 – Lakers 104
  • Game 4 – Tuesday, October 6, 6 p.m.—ABC
  • Game 5 – Friday, October 9, 6 p.m.—ABC
  • Game 6* – Sunday, October 11, 4:30 p.m.—ABC
  • Game 7* – Tuesday, October 13, 6:00 p.m.—ABC

*If required

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-Kyle Randolph – Franchise Sports Media


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