LOS ANGELES (AP) Kendrick Nunn scored 27 points, Jimmy Butler had 24 points and eight rebounds, and the Miami Heat held off the Los Angeles Lakers 96-94 in an NBA Finals rematch on Saturday night.
Bam Adebayo had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat in the team’s first meeting since the Lakers won their 17th championship with a six-game win over Miami in the Florida bubble four months ago.
LeBron James had 19 points, nine assists and nine rebounds when the defending NBA champions lost their second straight game without starters Anthony Davis and Dennis Schrder.
James stole the Heat’s incoming pass with 8.4 seconds to go to create one last chance for the Lakers, but the 17-time All-Star went to Alex Caruso, who missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer .
The Heat scored just 15 points in the fourth quarter, barely holding Los Angeles off the track for their second straight win after a three-game slip on their seven-game road trip.
Los Angeles also lost back-to-back games for the first time since January 27-28, falling into Staples Center at the expense of East contenders Brooklyn and Miami.
Davis missed his third game in a row after exacerbating his tense right calf last weekend, and Schrder missed his second straight game under NBA health and safety protocols.
Kyle Kuzma scored 23 points hitting four three-pointers, and Montrezl Harrell had 18 points and 10 rebounds when the Lakers recorded their third loss in 11 games.
Kuzma’s three-point play with 1:28 left narrowed Miami’s lead to 94-92, but after Duncan Robinson made a mistake on an offensive foul with 25 seconds left, Wesley Matthews missed a rushed, off-balance 3-pointer with 15 seconds to play. .
Heat: Avery Bradley, a starter for the Lakers last season who missed their playoff run after opting out of the NBA restart, missed this game for Miami with a calf load. … Goran Dragi missed his eighth game in a row with a sprained left ankle.
Lakers: Schrder will miss at least two more games in quarantine, coach Frank Vogel said. The Lakers hope he returns against Portland on Friday. … Caruso went scoreless within 20 minutes.
Heat: At Thunder on Monday.
Lakers: Host Wizards on Mondays.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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