Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat too much for shorthanded Lakers

Apr 8, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) directs a play against the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Butler scored a game-high-tying 28 points to lead the host Miami Heat to a 110-104 win over the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.

Miami also got 18 points from Victor Oladipo, who grabbed his right knee after a dunk with 5:35 left in the game. He immediately went to the locker room and did not return.

Heat guard Tyler Herro, playing through an injured left foot, had 15 points.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the Lakers with a season-high 28 points, but Miami won in part because the Heat were plus-8 on points off of turnovers.

Andre Drummond returned for the Lakers after missing the past three games with a toe injury. He had 15 points and 12 rebounds. Guard Dennis Schroder added 10 points and a game-high 14 assists for the Lakers.

But the Lakers were once again without stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. In addition, Kyle Kuzma sat out due to a calf strain, and Talen Horton-Tucker served a one-game suspension for his role in Tuesday’s altercation with the Toronto Raptors.

In addition, Lakers forward Markieff Morris was ejected with 2:14 left in the fourth quarter. Morris thought he was fouled on his shot, and he got the technical after arguing with a referee.

Lakers guard Alex Caruso took a second-quarter spill, but he returned in the second half.

Guard Ben McLemore, waived by the Houston Rockets on Saturday, made his Lakers debut on Thursday and had six points.

Heat guard Goran Dragic made a couple of highlight plays. One was a lob pass that went straight in as a Dragic bucket, and the other was his behind-the-back move on his way to a layup. He finished with 10 points.

Miami led 32-27 after the first quarter, outscoring the Lakers at the foul line 16-1.

The Lakers, trailing by as many as 11 points in the second quarter, took their first lead of the game on three McLemore free throws with 3:42 left in the first half. The Lakers then went into the break leading 56-54.

Miami surged back on top and led 83-80 after three quarters, and the Heat held on from there as Butler went 6-for-6 on free throws in the final two-plus minutes, including four in the last 17 seconds.

–Field Level Media