LeBron James, Anthony Davis Dominate as Lakers Beat Jimmy Butler, Heat 95-80

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorNovember 9, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 08:  Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers defends against the shot of Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heatduring the first half of a game at Staples Center on November 08, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers won their seventh straight game by beating the visiting Miami Heat 95-80 on Friday at Staples Center.

Anthony Davis paced L.A. with 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting alongside eight rebounds, seven assists, three blocks and two steals. He also helped the Lakers dominate the boards with a 48-37 differential.

LeBron James took over in the fourth quarter, scoring 12 of his 25 points to put the game away for the league-best 7-1 Lakers.

The 6-3 Heat struggled from the field, shooting just 35.0 percent overall and making only six of 35 three-pointers. Jimmy Butler led the way with 22 points.


Notable Performances

Heat G/F Jimmy Butler: 22 points, 6 rebounds

Heat C Bam Adebayo: 11 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals

Heat G Goran Dragic: 19 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds

Lakers F/C Anthony Davis: 26 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks, 2 steals

Lakers G/F LeBron James: 25 points, 6 assists

Lakers F Kyle Kuzma: 7 points, 5 rebounds


Anthony Davis Proves Unstoppable Once Again

Slowing down Anthony Davisa 6'10" forward easily capable of posterizing a defender, handling the ball like a point guard, knocking down threes and swatting multiple shots per gameis one of the hardest tasks any NBA team will face in a given year.

The six-time All-Star is playing his best basketball next to LeBron James in a partnership that has gone as well as one could hope. Entering Friday, the Brow had 26.6 points, 10.9 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game for a Lakers team that's clearly the top championship contender after two-plus weeks of play.

NBA Stats also provided this noteworthy fact:

NBA.com/Stats @nbastats

Anthony Davis is one of three players averaging at least 25 points and 10 rebounds per game so far this season and is tied for the league lead in blocks at 3.0 per game. 7pm/et: CLE/WAS, ESPN 10:30pm/et: MIA/LAL, NBA TV Friday Tune-In Tidbits: https://t.co/XTZPzduMW6 https://t.co/jzYVtgwiE4

On Friday, Davis' versatile skill set gave the Heat some major problems. Lakers digital content manager Joey Ramirez highlighted a few plays that occurred over the first three minutes to showcase Davis' evening:

Joey Ramirez @JoeyARamirez

In the first 3 minutes of this game, Anthony Davis has: - Switched onto Kendrick Nunn & swatted him - Rotated from the weak side for a steal - Closed out onto a corner 3 and blocked the shot

The block on Kendrick Nunn underscored Davis' ability to hang with quicker guards:

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

AD with the switch & swat. 🆎 with the bucket on his first possession back in the lineup. #LakeShow (📺: @SpectrumSN ) https://t.co/mkKoZoJdea

On the other end, Davis knocked down a long-range jumper with ease:

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

When your big man can splash step-backs like it’s open gym 🤷‍♂️ (📺: @SpectrumSN ) https://t.co/OID77X5Wqa

The Lakers only trailed once in the second quarter and led by no fewer than six points during a fourth quarter in which L.A. engineered a 21-6 game-closing run.

From a team-wide perspective, Davis' presence has helped the Lakers become arguably the league's best defense. They entered the evening second in defensive efficiency, per ESPN.com, and third in scoring defense while playing a tough schedule that included three of the top eight most efficient offenses. And that's not counting what they did Friday.

In summation, Davis and the Lakers forced a talented 6-2 Heat team to turn in its worst offensive performance of the season.

On evenings when the Lakers offense isn't clicking, falling back on a fantastic defensive effort is a luxury that can help vault L.A. to its first title in 10 years.


What's Next?

The Lakers will stay home to welcome the Toronto Raptors at 9:30 p.m. ET Sunday. The Heat will return home to host the Detroit Pistons at 7:30 p.m. ET Tuesday.