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Lakers shred Heat defense, stay hot with easy 131-113 win

MIAMI (AP) Julius Randle got the Los Angeles Lakers started. Isaiah Thomas finished the job.

And there is playoff talk in Lakerland.

Thomas scored a season-high 29 points, Randle added 25 and the Lakers continued their improbable surge by shredding the Miami defense on the way to a 131-113 win over the Heat on Thursday night.

The Lakers are still six games back of the No. 8 spot in the West - but Thomas wants them to think big.

''I want this team to think we're going to win,'' Thomas said. ''We have the talent to win. We have the players in this locker room to win and the only thing we should be thinking about is trying to take that next step - and that's get to the playoffs.''

They keep playing like this, who knows what can happen.

Brandon Ingram added 19 before leaving with a leg injury that didn't initially sound too serious, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 18 and Kyle Kuzma finished with 16 for the Lakers, who won in Miami for the first time since Feb. 10, 2008. The Lakers shot 59 percent and were 16 of 29 from 3-point range.

It was the most points allowed by the Heat this season.

''We are much, much better than we showed tonight defensively,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Thomas, whose previous season best was 24, connected on 11 of 20 shots and 6 of 11 3-point tries. Randle had 21 points in the first half for the Lakers, who are 16-7 since an 11-27 start - and at 27-34, have now passed last season's win total.

''We were sharing the ball,'' Lakers coach Luke Walton said. ''We were pushing it and playing at the pace we like to play at and then we were making the simple extra pass instead of trying to hold for quick shots or try to make spectacular passes.''

Dwyane Wade scored 25 points for Miami. Goran Dragic had 19, Justise Winslow scored 17 and Josh Richardson and Bam Adebayo each added 15.

There were three big runs in the first half - two of them by the Lakers, who took control quickly, then ceded it briefly before grabbing it again.

A 12-0 spurt in the opening minutes put the Lakers up 20-7 before the game was 4 1/2 minutes old, but the Heat immediately answered with a 17-2 run of their own to go up 24-22.

Miami ended the opening quarter leading 36-33. From there, it was all Lakers.

''They ran us out of the gym,'' Dragic said. ''We cannot allow a team to score 130-something.''

Los Angeles scored 21 of the next 25 points to take a 54-40 lead, wound up taking a 73-62 lead into halftime and stretched the margin to 16 on a pair of free throws by Randle midway through the third.

From there, the margin was never in doubt. The Lakers went up by 22 in the fourth, and the lead wasn't trimmed below 13 the rest of the way.

TIP-INS

Lakers: The 73 first-half points was a season high, one more than the Lakers had at Houston on Dec. 31. ... The Lakers have won three straight on the road, a season-best. ... Channing Frye (appendectomy) was again out. He's taken one shot since joining the Lakers last month. ... This is the Lakers' fourth different four-game winning streak of the season.

Heat: Derrick Jones Jr. was recalled from Sioux Falls before the game, but his flight through Chicago was delayed and he was inactive. Thursday won't count toward the 45-day allotment on his two-way contract. ... Wade made his first six shots, meaning he was 17 of 23 in a stretch of about seven quarters going back to Saturday.

HART'S HAND

Lakers rookie guard Josh Hart isn't guaranteed a return this season, now that he's dealing with a broken bone in his left hand. He was hurt in practice Wednesday, returned to Los Angeles and won't be evaluated for another 2-3 weeks. ''If he is healthy and ready to play with a couple weeks left, then we will get him back on the court,'' Walton said.

HEAT INJURIES

Miami was without guards Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington, both of whom suffered left quadriceps contusions in Tuesday's win over Philadelphia.

UP NEXT

Lakers: Visit San Antonio on Saturday.

Heat: Host Detroit on Saturday.

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
B. Ingram
14 SF
G. Dragic
7 PG
31.8 Min. Per Game 31.8
17.5 Pts. Per Game 17.5
4.9 Ast. Per Game 4.9
4.1 Reb. Per Game 4.1
46.9 Field Goal % 44.1
46.7 Three Point % 43.9
68.9 Free Throw % 76.9
+ 3 Kyle Kuzma made 3-pt. jump shot 0:04
+ 2 Justise Winslow made floating jump shot 0:25
  Offensive foul on Thomas Bryant 0:35
  Offensive foul on Thomas Bryant 0:35
  Team rebound 0:41
  Rodney McGruder missed floating jump shot 0:42
  Team rebound 0:51
  Luke Babbitt missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:51
  Offensive rebound by Jordan Mickey 1:03
  Justise Winslow missed 2nd of 2 free throws 1:06
  Team rebound 1:06
Team Stats
Points 131 113
Field Goals 47-79 (59.5%) 46-95 (48.4%)
3-Pointers 16-29 (55.2%) 9-31 (29.0%)
Free Throws 21-26 (80.8%) 12-16 (75.0%)
Total Rebounds 41 49
Offensive 6 14
Defensive 30 26
Team 5 9
Assists 29 23
Steals 9 6
Blocks 5 5
Turnovers 13 11
Fouls 17 21
Technicals 0 1
29 PTS, 4 REB, 6 AST
19 PTS, 4 REB, 7 AST
1234T
away team logo Lakers 27-34 33403127131
home team logo Heat 32-30 36263219113
Team Stats
away team logo Lakers 27-34 PPG RPG APG
home team logo Heat 32-30 103.4 PPG 41 RPG 23.8 APG
Key Players
I. Thomas PG PPG RPG APG FG%
D. Wade SG 12.0 PPG 3.4 RPG 3.1 APG 40.9 FG%
Top Scorers
I. Thomas PG 29 PTS 4 REB 6 AST
D. Wade SG 25 PTS 3 REB 3 AST
59.5 FG% 48.4
55.2 3PT FG% 29.0
80.8 FT% 75.0
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Randle 33 25 6 2 1 1 2 2 8/13 0/1 9/9 1 5 35 +15
B. Ingram 35 19 5 5 1 1 1 4 8/14 1/3 2/2 0 5 35 -10
K. Caldwell-Pope 35 18 4 1 0 0 2 2 6/8 2/3 4/6 1 3 22 +10
B. Lopez 21 10 2 2 0 1 0 1 4/6 2/4 0/0 0 2 17 0
L. Ball 33 8 6 7 6 0 2 4 3/5 2/3 0/1 1 5 32 +24
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Randle 33 25 6 2 1 1 2 2 8/13 0/1 9/9 1 5 35 +15
B. Ingram 35 19 5 5 1 1 1 4 8/14 1/3 2/2 0 5 35 -10
K. Caldwell-Pope 35 18 4 1 0 0 2 2 6/8 2/3 4/6 1 3 22 +10
B. Lopez 21 10 2 2 0 1 0 1 4/6 2/4 0/0 0 2 17 0
L. Ball 33 8 6 7 6 0 2 4 3/5 2/3 0/1 1 5 32 +24
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
I. Thomas 29 29 4 6 0 0 3 1 11/20 6/11 1/2 1 3 42 +13
K. Kuzma 28 16 6 2 0 2 1 0 6/10 3/4 1/2 1 5 27 +16
I. Zubac 17 6 3 4 1 0 1 1 1/3 0/0 4/4 1 2 17 +19
T. Ennis 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 +1
T. Bryant 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 -1 +1
G. Payton II 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 +1
J. Hart - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Caruso - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Deng - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Frye - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 234 131 36 29 9 5 13 17 47/79 16/29 21/26 6 30 226 +90
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
G. Dragic 34 19 4 7 1 0 2 1 8/19 0/5 3/4 1 3 36 +2
J. Winslow 30 17 5 2 2 0 1 2 7/11 3/4 0/2 1 4 27 +1
J. Richardson 35 15 3 2 3 1 4 3 6/17 3/9 0/0 3 0 22 -30
H. Whiteside 18 6 7 0 0 0 2 3 1/4 0/0 4/4 2 5 11 -19
K. Olynyk 13 0 3 2 0 0 0 1 0/5 0/3 0/0 2 1 7 -19
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
G. Dragic 34 19 4 7 1 0 2 1 8/19 0/5 3/4 1 3 36 +2
J. Winslow 30 17 5 2 2 0 1 2 7/11 3/4 0/2 1 4 27 +1
J. Richardson 35 15 3 2 3 1 4 3 6/17 3/9 0/0 3 0 22 -30
H. Whiteside 18 6 7 0 0 0 2 3 1/4 0/0 4/4 2 5 11 -19
K. Olynyk 13 0 3 2 0 0 0 1 0/5 0/3 0/0 2 1 7 -19
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Wade 25 25 3 3 0 0 1 4 11/18 1/3 2/2 0 3 33 -18
B. Adebayo 29 15 10 1 0 2 1 1 6/7 0/0 3/4 4 6 28 +5
R. McGruder 24 10 1 1 0 0 0 2 4/8 2/4 0/0 0 1 13 -4
J. Johnson 25 6 3 5 0 2 0 4 3/5 0/2 0/0 0 3 21 -6
L. Babbitt 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 0 0 -1
J. Mickey 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 0 1 -1
W. Ellington - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Waiters - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Johnson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Jones Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Walton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
U. Haslem - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 113 40 23 6 5 11 21 46/95 9/31 12/16 14 26 199 -90