Drummond returns, Gasol does not play and the Lakers stumble in Miami

Small revenge of the Heat against the Lakers, yes, very depleted. Morris was sent off, Drummond returned and Marc Gasol had no minutes.


It is worth nothing next to a Ring, but the Heat won at the Staples Center and now they also do it at the American Airlines Arena to some Lakers who have changed a lot throughout this season. They came from beating Miami in the bubble, in the 2020 Finals, and along the way they have left players on the way. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are still out, although their return is approaching. They signed Andre Drummond, who returned in this game after injuring himself in the first one he played with the purple and gold jersey, and Ben McLemore, who also made his debut here. The swings do not always feel good and, in this case, they have been too violent for that to be the case.

The Heat took advantage of that superiority and won an important victory. In their case they are climbing very little by little in the East, in which there is an intense fight from fourth to tenth place. For the Lakers it means falling a bit more, keeping the position but being threatened by the Blazers and Mavericks in a very clear way. The vicissitudes of the Los Angeles squad already make all the games important without specifying if it is a rematch, if there are streaks in between or taking into account other parameters. In the fight there will be some appointments in which Marc Gasol does not appear, as has happened in this one: the minutes of Drummond and Harrell, and despite the fact that power forward Markieff Morris ended up expelled - two minutes after finishing - for facing a referee, prevented the Spaniard from entering Vogel's short rotation.

With the Heat widening out to midfield to see spaces they were even up ten in the first quarter, but the Lakers had a Drummond who wanted to prove whatever it took. He was the benchmark and knocked down all that low-post disadvantage. Even a steal and two assists were scored. But he went to the locker room fast, with the Lakers again fearing for his physical condition, and the locals took a breath. Another impulse, this time with Dragic as a dagger. With Schröder failing in almost every respect (as his 14 assists are a bit deceptive), it was the turn of a guard, Caldwell-Pope, to face rival outsiders in one on one. Again, wince from the champions, who even took the lead with 52-54 on the scoreboard.

Butler began to punish in the middle distance and relied on his associate Oladipo to get revenue. They were taking Drummond out of the paint and that was positive. On the other side they had to do a better job, of course. A crazy 3 + 1 by Duncan Robinson raised the lead to eight for Miami, but in defense the Los Angeles exteriors were running at ease and the effect was not noticeable. Jimmy Butler (28 points) insistently pulled the strings and took the ember to his sardine, as the popular saying goes, and that is that in the decisive minutes the best face of the Heat was seen and the Lakers not only lacked LeBron and Davis but also Kuzma and an improved version of other players. With four minutes to go, the Florida players achieved an 11-2 run that ended the game.

Photos from as.com
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