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.
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 Davis—a 6'10" forward easily capable of posterizing a defender, handling the ball like a point guard, knocking down threes and swatting multiple shots per game—is 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:
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:
The block on Kendrick Nunn underscored Davis' ability to hang with quicker guards:
On the other end, Davis knocked down a long-range jumper with ease:
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.