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Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Where and when: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, Friday, 10:35 pm EST
The Miami Heat will pay their first visit of 2019 to the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, to face-off versus the new-look Lakers on Friday night at 10:35 pm EST. The Heat enters the contest winners of three of their last four games while the Lakers have not lost since opening night versus when the fell by ten points to the Clippers. The Lakers have won two straight games (straight up) versus the Heat at Staples Center while also coming out on top versus the spread in each.
At 6-1, the Lakers find themselves atop the Pacific standings with the Phoenix Suns close behind at 5-2. Collectively, they are averaging 110 points per game, good for 15th in the league while ranking as one of the top teams in the league in field goal percentage at 47%, with Avery Bradley leading the way at 52% on the year. However, Bradley may miss his second straight game on Friday with a knee injury.
Newly-acquired Anthony Davis is continuing to show his worth to the team in averaging a double-double with 27 points and 11 rebounds while Lebron James is putting up 26 per night while also leading the team in assists with 11 per. In all, this Lakers squad is steadily improving in a competitive Western Conference. Los Angeles is 3-0 SU in addition to being undefeated against the number at home while also having had three days rest entering their showdown with the talented Heat.
The Heat is also sitting in first place within the Eastern division of the East these days with a record of 5-2 while being closely pursued by the Charlotte Hornets. Even better, Miami was able to get their key offseason acquisition in Jimmy Butler back in the lineup most recently. In fact, aside from a 5 point, 9 rebounds, along with 11 assist night versus the Hawks to where the Heat fell by 15 points, Butler has averaged well over 20 points a game for Miami, including putting up 34 points in a win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night. Their showdown with the Lakers will be the second of back-to-back games for Miami.
Heat get back on winning track with win over NuggetsButler recovered from a lackluster outing versus the Nuggets to go 11-16 from the floor in addition to 10-10 from the free throw line to lead the Heat to a win on Thursday. Goran Dragic also made his presence felt with 25 points while going 5-7 from long-range while Bam Adebayo recorded his fourth double-double on the season with 15 points along with 10 boards as the Heat enter their matchup with Los Angeles with some much-needed momentum. The team continued to look impressive on the defensive end of the floor in holding Devin Booker to just 22 points in 6-13 shooting.
What makes this game very interesting how Miami, who is ranked in the top ten in points allowed per game (106) along with opponent field goal percentage (44%), will match up versus a Lakers squad that is talented and deep on offense.
The Heat may suit up on Friday without Justice Winslow, who is suffering from a head injury and questionable versus the Lakers. Derrick Jones, Jr. is also questionable with a hip injury.
Lakers settle in for some home cookingThe Lakers will play four of their next five games at Staples Center where they have really shined this year, as pointed out. The squad went undefeated on a three-game road trip recently by whipping up on the Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, and finally, the Chicago Bulls on November 5th. During this contest, James recorded his third straight triple-double in posting 30 points, pulling down 11 boards, while also dishing out 10 assists in the win. Davis, JaVale McGee, Kyle Kuzma, along with Quinn Cook each scored in double figures for the Lakers; Yet, the team failed to cover for only the first time in their last five matchups.
The Lakers also allowed an uncharacteristic 50% shooting to Chicago in addition to allowing them to nail 14 of 32 three-point attempts to boot. This stat was off the script for a Lakers squad that is ranked in the top 5 in points allowed per game (101), field goal percentage allowed (41%), in addition to ranking within the top-7 in three-point percentage (32%). Los Angeles kept the game close by sinking 11 three’s on the night (Cook went 3-4) while shooting just under 49%.
And despite committing 16 turnovers, they were able to overcome a 13-point halftime deficit to outscore the Bulls by a combined 68-47 in the second half (38-19 in the fourth). In all, this was a gritty win for the Lakers and one that they will certainly build upon moving forward.
- No trends to report
- No trends to report
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
PointsBet has set the line at 8 points in favor of the Lakers in this contest. I must say that I like the way the Heat have been playing lately. And with Jimmy Butler coming off his best game since returning to the team, look for Miami to take up the challenge in facing one of the best teams in the west in the Los Angeles Lakers tonight. Of course, the Heat are playing the second of a back-to-back; Yet, by playing the Lakers, expect them to bring the focus for this contest. Miami is 3-1 ATS in their last four matchups and I will bank on the visitors improving upon this record by keeping this game close throughout.
Prediction: Miami Heat +8
Full-Game Total Pick
Both these teams possess a defensive mentality, despite having players that can put the ball in the hoop. Each, as stated, are currently ranked within the top 10 teams in the league in defensive efficiency while also looking to continue to make a statement on this end of the floor. I see the under being the play in this contest as each team will find it difficult to consistently take advantage of scoring opportunities. Of course, each team will have their fair share of runs throughout, nonetheless, the total will not surpass its mark in the end.
Prediction: Under 216.5