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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Anthony Davis goes up against former team in fourth quarter of return to South Beach

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Never does a lineup come together as smoothly as it did in the third quarter of the Miami Heat’s 108-107 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night. The Heat finished the period on a 22-4 run, and after a 3-pointer by Ray Allen at the first-quarter buzzer cut the Lakers’ deficit to one, they ended the half with a 28-7 spree.

A 3-pointer from Mario Chalmers put the Heat up 58-53. “Pretty much for the rest of the first half and the first quarter of the third quarter, the guys got a little turned on,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles native playing for the team that drafted him, had a nearly flawless first quarter, when he had 17 points, six rebounds and two blocks. The first five Lakers players in double figures were scorers in the former Kentucky point guard’s prime. Davis, however, suffered through a rough second quarter and finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds, his ninth double-double of the season.

Against the Heat, Davis was playing on a sore back.

“My back started hurting me in the third quarter,” Davis said. “At one point I wasn’t moving a lot and I just couldn’t get up and down the court. After that, I just shut it down. They took me out of the game and felt confident in doing whatever it took to win.”

Davis was shown some love, instead of some jeers, as he walked onto the floor for the fourth quarter. “A lot of people were cheering for me tonight,” he said. “They were doing it up at home. We played Miami, and everybody came to the arena with family and friends. It was really cool. It was very exciting for me.”

As for his return to South Beach, where he attended both his best and worst college games, he said: “It was nice to get home. I haven’t been here for five years, so it was nice to be back.”

In their ninth game of the season, the Heat allowed the Lakers to go on a late run to narrow their deficit, but eventually held on for the win.

Miami Heat 108, Los Angeles Lakers 107, concludes

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