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Davis’ 26 send Lakers past Heat 95-80 for 7th straight win

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anthony Davis had 26 points and nine rebounds, and LeBron James scored 12 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ seventh consecutive victory, 95-80 over the Miami Heat on Friday night.

James hit a pair of clutch 3-pointers in the waning minutes to seal another victory for the NBA-leading Lakers, who haven’t lost since their season opener against the Clippers.

Los Angeles’ superstar duo teamed up impressively again, but the Lakers held off Jimmy Butler and the Heat with solid team defense.

The Lakers held Miami to one field goal and six points in the final 8:54, limiting the Heat to 6-of-35 shooting on 3-pointers and outrebounding them 48-37 to win a meeting of division leaders off to outstanding starts to the new season.

Butler scored 22 points and Goran Dragic added 19 for the Heat, who still lead the Southeast Division despite losing twice on their three-game Western road trip.

The Lakers returned home looking good after a 3-0 road trip with tough victories at Dallas and San Antonio. Davis and James have already formed a fluid partnership, and their complementary players are growing into their roles while the Lakers play already solid defense.

Miami led for only one possession despite employing a zone defense that bothered the Lakers’ offense early on. Los Angeles swiftly adjusted to the scheme and moved the ball effectively, getting 25 assists on its 33 baskets in the first three quarters.

Butler scored nine points in the third quarter to keep Miami in striking distance despite its 3-for-24 start on 3-pointers, including 11 consecutive misses spanning halftime.

TIP-INS

Heat: Dwyane Wade watched from the baseline near the Miami bench. The retired superstar spoke to the Heat earlier in the day. Wade and his wife, Gabrielle Union, are living in nearby Sherman Oaks. Wade’s oldest son, Zaire, is playing high school basketball with Bronny James at Sierra Canyon. … Derrick Jones Jr. sat out with a left hip strain. Justise Winslow is in the concussion protocol.

Lakers: Rajon Rondo still isn’t ready to make his season debut. He has a strained right calf. … Alex Caruso closed the game for LA, finishing with six points and four assists along with several heady defensive plays. … Chargers running back Melvin Gordon watched from courtside.

UP NEXT

Heat: Host the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday.

Lakers: Host the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.

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