(Photo: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)
Kobe Bryant returned to action on Tuesday but he and the rest of the Lakers shot were rusty. The Lakers shot an unbelievably bad 31.5 percent from the field in their 78-75 loss to the Miami Heat. The 31.5 percent shooting is a season low for the Lakers, edging out their previous low of 33 percent against the Indiana Pacers on December 15th and their poorest efficiency from the floor since 2/27/09 when they shot 29.8 percent against the Denver Nuggets.
Bryant missed the last 2 games and could point to being rust as a reason for shooting 3 for 19 from the field; however, Bryant did hit a big 3 to bring the Lakers within 3 points in the winding seconds of the game, only to miss the game tying 3 as time expired.
Bryant also mentioned that the new extended resting period on the bench is making it difficult to find a rhythm.
Kobe on limited minutes: "The hard part is sitting down for stretches and then trying to get back in. I feel like the Tin Man."
— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) January 14, 2015
The rest of the Lakers had no such excuse for their bad night from the floor. Boozer, who has been a steady scorer off the bench, shot horribly, finishing 1 for 8 and with just 2 points.
The Lakers got 0 points from their starting point guard with Ronnie Price going 0 for 4 from the field. Price’s back-up, Jeremy Lin, didn’t fare much better, ending with 7 points on 3 for 7 from the field.
The only two Lakers on the night that were able to put the ball in that basket were Ed Davis and Ryan Kelly who missed 1 shot out of their combined 10 shots on the night (Davis, 6-7; Kelly, 3-3.)
The Lakers got off to a terrible start, going down 18 points before they hit their first basket of the game, a Kobe Bryant 18 foot jumper. The Lakers shook off their poor start to outscore the Heat by 15 the rest of the game but it was not enough.
The story of the game were the 68 of the Heat’s 78 points which came from either inside the paint or the free throw line.
The Heat weren’t wearing out the nets either on the night, shooting 42.3 percent from the field and having their leading scorer, Chris Bosh, experience a poor night, shooting 4 for 17 and finishing with 8 points.
The Dwayne Wade-less Heat were led, surprisingly, by Mario Chalmers who scored 19 points.
Hassan Whiteside, the player to come out of nowhere recently, had another solid night, finishing with 15 points, 9 rebounds and tying his career high with 5 blocks.
Whiteside was the 33rd pick of the Sacramento Kings in the 2010 NBA Draft and has bounced around from the NBA to international ball until finding a spot with the Miami Heat in November. Whiteside is coming off a 23 point, 16 rebound and 2 blocks game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.
The Lakers fall to 12-27 which ranks them 14th in the Western Conference and 4th worst in the NBA.
The Lakers take on Lebron James, Kevin Love and the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers next this coming Thursday at Staples Center.