LOS ANGELES — It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t perfect. And the Los Angeles Lakers still had a chance to pull it off.
But Isaiah Thomas missed a jump shot with 3.5 seconds left, and the Lakers lost to the Miami Heat 92-91 on Friday night at Staples Center.
“They were tougher than we were tonight,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said, “which is really frustrating.”
The Lakers committed 20 turnovers and scored less than 100 points for the first time since Jan. 19. Miami committed only 11 turnovers.
“I didn’t even know we had that many,” Julius Randle said.
Walton was clearly frustrated after the game, and pointed to sloppy passing as the main culprit to Los Angeles giving the ball away as much as it did.
“We were telegraphing our passes, we were passing out of motion, they were getting deflections,” Walton said. “We couldn’t even make a post past tonight, which is basic fundamentals of passing.”
Randle had 25 points and 12 rebounds, while Brook Lopez added 18 points on 4 of 5 shooting from the 3-point line. Travis Wear contributed 11 points.
Goran Dragic led the Heat with 30 points, while Kelly Olynyk scored 17 points off the bench.
The Heat opened a six-point lead with 7:30 remaining in the game, and an 88-81 advantage with 5:51 left. The Lakers scored five straight points to pull within 88-86 with 3:30 left in the game.
Kyle Kuzma returned from an ankle injury and scored 11 points while also pulling down eight rebounds. He scored on a layup while falling to the ground and got up with a heavy limp. Moments later, his 3-pointer with 1:23 remaining gave Los Angeles a 91-90 lead.
Dragic slithered in the paint and scored to give Miami a 92-91 lead with 15.2 seconds remaining. It was his only basket of the fourth quarter.
“He hit really timely shots,” Kuzma said of Dragic, who had 22 points in the first half. “We couldn’t contain him all night. Kudos to him.”
Heat opened the third quarter with a 6-0 run that forced Los Angeles into an early timeout. The Lakers responded with with an 15-5 run capped by dunks from Lopez and Caldwell-Pope for a 65-61 lead.
Tyler Ennis tied the game at 28 with a jump shot. Randle gave the Lakers a 46-45 lead with an and-1 opportunity with less than 3 minutes remaining in the half. Lakers went on an 8-0 run to take a 48-45 lead with 1:33 left in the half.
Kuzma said the Lakers turned the ball over too much.
“We just were careless,” Kuzma said. “I don’t really know what it was. You would think it’d be a road game. That’s usually what we do on the road, not at home.”
Lopez called the 20 turnovers “the stat of the game.”
“I think as well as they played,” Lopez said, “we kinda did ourselves in in that regard.”
Heat: Outscored the Lakers 18-7 in second-chance points.
Lakers: Were outscored 50-44 in the paint, where they have led the league for much of the season.
Heat: Host the Denver Nuggets on Monday.
Lakers: At the Indiana Pacers on Monday.