Wins and losses are all that matter in the NBA. However, on Christmas Day, the Los Angeles Lakers managed to give the defending champion Miami Heat a battle before ultimately losing, 101-95, at Staples Center.
“The last two games we were just getting murdered, getting killed,” Nick Young told the L.A. Times. “To come back and fight like that today is a step forward, I think, for us.”
L.A. was playing without their franchise player in Kobe Bryant, who was out with a fractured bone in his left knee. Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade each scored 23 points to lead the Heat.
“Those guys are the best the league has to offer,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni told The Times. “You see some plays that you just don’t normally see. LeBron’s so strong and Wade, they come at you. It’s impressive.”
With the game tied at 81, Norris Cole scored seven points during an 11-2 run to give the Heat a 92-83 lead with a little over five minutes to play.
Young led the Lakers with 20 points (7-for-20 shooting) and continued his stellar play, replacing Bryant’s scoring production. He’s averaging 18.3 points per games the last 14 games.
Jodie Meeks scored 17 points, Xavier Henry pumped in 14 points, Pau Gasol scored 13 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.
Jordan Farmar returned from an injured left hamstring to give L.A. a true point guard to run the offense after Steve Nash and Steve Blake all sustained injuries. However, Farmar wasn’t in game shape. He managed just three points and two assists in 32 minutes.
Darren Jacks is a regular contributor to OneManFastBreak.net. Follow him on Twitter @djroxalot.