Lakers picked a good time for a winning streak over Heat

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The first 10 matchups between the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat all were basically the same. The Lakers won them all, eight of the 10 by double figures.

The Lakers haven’t had such a sustained run of success against the Heat again until now.

When the NBA Finals resume at Walt Disney World with Game 3 on Sunday night, the Lakers will be trying to beat the Heat for a seventh consecutive time. The Lakers haven’t lost to Miami since a 92-91 decision on March 16, 2018.

The Lakers are 4-0 against Miami so far this season, three of the four wins by at least 10 points.

Miami’s best run of success against the Lakers was a seven-game winning streak from Jan. 17, 2013 through Nov. 10, 2015.

The Lakers now lead the all-time series between the clubs, 39-27. And the team that has LeBron James on the roster has won 10 consecutive games in the series.

FROM DEEP

Coming into these playoffs, the most 3-point attempts the Lakers had ever tried in a postseason game was 32 — back in 2010 against Phoenix.

That is now tied for ninth-most in team history.

The long-range assault around the league these days also includes L.A., where the Lakers smashed a franchise record for 3-point tries in an NBA Finals game by trying 38 in Game 1 — then smashed it yet again by attempting 47 in Game 2.

The 47 3-point attempts are the most in any Lakers game, ever.

“We’re going to continue to encourage our guys to shoot those shots,” Lakers forward Anthony Davis said. “If you’re open, there should be no hesitation whether you should shoot the three or not, no matter if you’re 0-for-10 or 0-for-whatever. You want you to keep shooting because we know those shots are going to fall for us.”

Davis said the Heat “want you to shoot the 3,” and he’s apparently right. The 47 3’s by the Lakers were the most the Heat have seen attempted against them in a playoff game — breaking the record of 46 set last Sunday by Boston, when Miami closed out the Eastern Conference finals.

Miami has let teams take more than 36 3-pointers in a playoff game eight times in franchise history — all of them this year.

DYNAMIC DUO

LeBron James scored 33 points and Anthony Davis had 32 in Game 2, marking the 14th time that Lakers teammates had at least 32 points in the same NBA Finals game.

Elgin Baylor and Jerry West did it eight times. West and Wilt Chamberlain did it once, as did the duos of Magic Johnson and Jamaal Wilkes, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, and George Mikan and Vern Mikkelsen.

Davis had 14 rebounds and James had nine on Friday. Add that to the parameters — teammates with at least 32 points and nine rebounds in a finals game — and the list gets a lot shorter. Johnson and Wilkes did it on May 16, 1980; Mikan and Mikkelsen did it on April 20, 1952. That’s it.

Before Friday, there was only one other instance in the last 40 years of teammates having at least 32 points and nine rebounds in the same game: Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant did it for Golden State on June 4, 2017.

SO CLOSE

LeBron James has 27 career playoff triple-doubles, including a record 10 in NBA Finals games.

It could be so many more.

Friday was the 50th time in James’ playoff career that he had at least 10 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in a game — meaning Game 2 was the 23rd instance of him missing a triple-double by exactly one assist, one rebound or both.

Of those “almosts,” eight have come in the NBA Finals.

CLIMBING THE CHARTS

Miami rookie Tyler Herro is up to 278 points so far in the playoffs. On Friday he passed Donovan Mitchell (268) and Jerry West (275) for eighth in a single postseason by a rookie.

With at least two games left this season, Herro could get into the top five or better.

He’s 15 points behind No. 7 Magic Johnson, 21 points behind No. 6 Wilt Chamberlain and 23 points behind No. 5 Jack Sikma.

“Whatever the team needs me to do, I try to do to the best of my ability,” Herro said. “Obviously, I can always be better.”

The rest of the rookie playoff scoring list: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar leads the way with 352 points, Jayson Tatum had 351, Alvan Adams had 341 and Elgin Baylor had 331. The Heat will almost certainly have to win at least one and possibly more games in this series for Herro to have enough time at making a serious run at the rookie postseason record.

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