Miami, Fl. Dec. 20th – One team won the NBA title 2 years ago. The other team went to the NBA Finals last year, only to lose in 6 games. The Miami Heat hosted the Los Angeles Lakers in a game that featured the #1 scorer in Dwayne Wade and last year’s MVP Kobe Bryany. Miami was faced with trying to stop the Lakers big men in Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. The Lakers meanwhile, wanted to control the pace so the Heat would not run them out of the building. Both teams accomplished what they wanted as the game was tied at 46 at halftime. Bryant led the Lakers with 17 points, while Wade topped the Heat with 16. 

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Miami’s 3rd quarter defense picked up where they left off holding Bryant to only 7 points. His first basket coming with 4:54 left in the quarter. The Heat’s offense was sparked by back-up guard Daequan Cook who scored 8 points. The last 3 points saw a mad dash between the superstars. Wade and Bryant scramble for a loose ball with Wade coming up with the ball 5 feet from half-court. Spinning toward the basket, he throws up a prayer as the clock goes off. Nothing but net as Miami extends their lead to 75-63. The biggest lead for either up to that point. Los Angeles would scamper within 5 points on the strength of 2 straight 3 pointers by Sasha Vujacic. Cook and Mario Chalmers gave Miami more breathing room with 3 and 2 point baskets respectfully.

With 5:15 left and a 6 point lead, Kobe Bryant comes back in the game and begins with a fast-break slam sandwiched by 2 Heat turn-overs. His next attempt clangs off the back of the rim as Wade drains a jumper from the top of the key. Both teams trade turnovers and Derek Fisher is fouled on his shot attempt. He makes 1 of 2 to bring L.A. within 5. Udonis Haslem drops in a short jumper and Lamar Odom is fouled on his way to the basket. Odom misses both and after Wade bricks his next attempt, Trevor Ariza nails a wide open 3, cutting the Heat to 4. Wade would then hit 2 driving baskets to put the Heat up 88-82 essentially putting the game away. Think again.
3 more Gasol free thows and a Bryant basket gets the Lakers to within 88-87. Wade gets fouled and could extend the lead to 3 but missed the first free throw. After making the second, the stage was set to see why Bryant was the leagues top player last year. Taking the inbound pass, Bryant drives right, then spins left before lofting a jump shot that goes in, spins around the basket, before coming out. Miami 89, Los Angeles 87. "We got the shot we wanted," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson. "It just didn’t go down."
The Miami Heat, NBA Champions 2 years ago, used a similar style to defeat last year’s Western Conference Champion Los Angeles Lakers. While Miami, with their young roster looks to just get to the playoffs, the Lakers not only want to get back to the Finals, but win it.

About William Gerena-Rochet

William Gerena Rochet, is the former Latino Sports baseball editor. He is a retired NYC teacher who divides his time living between New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. He started writing for Latino Sports during the inaugural World Baseball Classic when a series was played in Puerto Rico in 2006. On of his favorite moments was covering the 2006 MLB All-Star Game in Pittsburgh. During his time with Latino Sports, he covered several divisional and League championship series games and the 2009 World Series. He also covered the last game at the old Yankee stadium and the first game of the current one. In closing, William has covered multiples Latino Sports MVP Awards ceremonies and Spanish Language Press Conferences including the Jorge Posada retirement one. Now a contributor, Willie will occasionally cover the Yankees.