LeBron James scored 28 points and the Los Angeles Lakers survived Dwyane Wade’s 15-point performance in the second half of the superstars’ probable final on-court meeting for a 108-105 victory over the Miami Heat on Monday night.
The game appropriately ended with James guarding Wade, who missed a difficult 3-point attempt in the waning seconds. After the buzzer sounded, and they shared a hug and a chat to close perhaps the final joint chapter of two careers that have intersected repeatedly since they entered the NBA together in 2003.
Wade and James teamed up with the Heat in 2010 to win two championships while reaching four consecutive NBA Finals, and they spent half of last season together in Cleveland.
Wade intends to retire after this season, and Staples Center sent him out of Los Angeles in style with multiple standing ovations and a tribute video in the first quarter.
James and Wade both missed big shots down the stretch, but James hit two free throws with 22.5 seconds left to stretch the Lakers’ lead to three points.
Kyle Kuzma scored 33 points for the Lakers, who have won 13 of 17 overall and five straight at home.
Justise Winslow scored a career-high 28 points for Miami, hitting six 3-pointers in the third stop on the Heat’s six-game road trip.
Wade’s wife, Gabrielle Union, was among the fans at courtside as the high-scoring guard played 32 minutes. Wade went 0 for 5 in a scoreless first half, but still had six assists.
He got rolling in the third quarter with eight points in a flurry that recalled his heyday, and he kept up the pressure in the fourth while finishing with 10 assists and five rebounds.
Heat: Hassan Whiteside missed his third straight game. He is away from the team for the birth of his child. … Josh Richardson (right shoulder) started. Tyler Johnson (bruised left hip) was available, but didn’t play.
Lakers: Brandon Ingram missed his third straight game with a sprained left ankle. He won’t be re-evaluated until Saturday before the Lakers play at Charlotte that night. The wingman is LA’s third-leading scorer. … Rajon Rondo had fluid drained from his right hand Sunday, possibly signaling a delay in his return from a broken hand. The veteran point guard has been out for 3 ½ weeks. … A star-studded crowd gathered for Wade’s final game, including Denzel Washington, Kate Beckinsale, Will Ferrell, Kevin Costner, Jessica Alba and Rams stars Jared Goff and Brandin Cooks.
LEBRON ROLLS ON
James is nearly three years younger than the 36-year-old Wade, and the four-time MVP is nowhere near retirement after signing a four-year contract with the Lakers in July. James’ NBA-record streak of scoring in double digits reached 900 games in this game. The fifth-leading scorer in NBA history also passed Paul Pierce for 10th place in NBA history by scoring at least 10 points for the 1,162nd time in his 1,170 career games.
Heat: At Jazz on Wednesday.
Lakers: At Rockets on Thursday.
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