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

Isaiah Thomas scored a season-high 29 points, Julius Randle added 25 and the Los Angeles Lakers continued their surge by topping the Miami Heat 131-113 on Thursday night.

Brandon Ingram added 19, 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.

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.

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

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.

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.


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.


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,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said.


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


Lakers: Visit San Antonio on Saturday.

Heat: Host Detroit on Saturday.

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Former Heat player Rasual Butler, wife killed in car crash

Former Miami Heat player Rasual Butler and his wife were killed in an early morning car accident on Wednesday.

TMZ reports the 38-year-old Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle, were killed in the single car crash in Studio City, Calif. around 2 a.m. Butler’s Range Rover slammed into a wall and flipped after striking a parking meter.

Butler was the Heat’s second round draft pick out of La Salle back in 2002. He played three seasons in Miami before being involved in the trade that led to the Heat acquiring Eddie Jones, Antoine Walker, Jason Williams and James Posey.

Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters Wednesday that he will always remember Bulter’s “million-dollar smile.”

“I was shocked. It’s horrible, horrible news for all of us,” Spoelstra said. “His attitude was always infectious. He was always the brightest light coming through the gym every single day, regardless of what was going on during the season.”

Former teammate Dwyane Wade expressed his grief over Butler’s passing through Twitter, saying “Come on man. Damn. The world just lost a great dude.”

Heat owner Micky Arison also tweeted out his condolences.

After Miami, Butler played for eight other NBA teams before last playing with San Antonio in 2016.

The report says LaBelle was a singer who placed 12th on American Idol in 2004.

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle. Our sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the family and many friends of Rasual and Leah. They will be missed.

— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 31, 2018

Come on man. Damn. The world just lost a great dude. RIP Rasual “Bop” Butler!

— DWade (@DwyaneWade) January 31, 2018

Sad sad news R.I.P. Rasual.

— Micky Arison (@MickyArison) January 31, 2018

Devastated to hear the news about the passing of my former teammate, Rasual, & his wife. My thoughts and prayers go out to their families during this difficult time. Rasual was an amazing teammate and an even better person. He will truly be missed!

— Lamarcus Aldridge (@aldridge_12) January 31, 2018

Rip to the homie Rasual Butler & his wife!! Condolences to the butler family & friends. Damn Bro 🙏🏽😪

— Matt Barnes (@Matt_Barnes22) January 31, 2018

Omg….. RIP Rasual Butler :(( terrible News 😢

— Marcin Gortat🇵🇱 (@MGortat) January 31, 2018

R.I.P to Rasual Butler man, he was good to me and kept it G with me during our time in Minnesota! We lost a good one!!

— Kris Dunn (@KrisDunn3) January 31, 2018

Our entire organization is deeply saddened after learning of the death of former Pacers player Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle.

— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) January 31, 2018

So sad this morning to here about my friend and teammate 😢 RIP Rasual Butler appreciate the people around u because u never kno 😔😔😔

— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) January 31, 2018

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Nets embarrass Heat, leading by 38 before winning 111-87

Joe Harris scored a career-high 21 points, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 18 and the Brooklyn Nets simply embarrassed the Miami Heat 111-87 on Friday night.

Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen each had 12 for the Nets, who were actually down 18-8 early – then outscored Miami 85-37 over the next 28 minutes. LeVert added a career-best 11 assists.

It matched the biggest win by the Nets over the Heat ever, going along with the 24-point victory by New Jersey on Dec. 1, 1989, which was early in the second season in Miami franchise history.

Josh Richardson scored 19 points and Hassan Whiteside added 17 for Miami. The Heat shot 3 for 26 from 3-point range, and 34 percent from the field overall.

The Heat started on a 8-0 run. That ended their list of achievements for the evening.

Brooklyn scored 13 unanswered points, grabbed the lead by the end of the first quarter and never relented. The Heat shot 3 for 17 in the second quarter, trailed by 20 at the half and then got down by as many as 38 late in the third.

It was the fifth time this season the Heat trailed by as many as 30 in a game – none of the previous margins as big as the 38-pointer the Nets enjoyed in this one.


Nets: Brooklyn beat Miami for the first time in the teams’ last seven meetings. … The largest margin of victory in Nets franchise history at Miami, before Friday, was 22 – in 1991. … Harris is the eighth Nets player to have a 20-point game off the bench this season. … The Nets shot 49 percent, and finished with seven players in double figures. They also outrebounded Miami 54-43.

Heat: Miami missed a chance to move three games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2015-16 season. The last time the Heat were three games over without Dwyane Wade on the roster was April 18, 2001. … Heat coach Erik Spoelstra got a technical for arguing with 1:11 left in the third, and his team down by 37. … Miami played 41 home games in 2017, going 27-14.


The Nets led by 35 points after three quarters, matching the franchise record for margin in a road game after 36 minutes. The other time it happened was March 13, 1993, when New Jersey was up 104-69 going into the fourth at Phoenix.


Miami was again without Justise Winslow, James Johnson, Dion Waiters, Rodney McGruder and Okaro White, all injured. The Heat expect them to all miss Saturday’s game in Orlando as well.


Nets: Visit Boston on Sunday, ending a five-game trip.

Heat: Visit Orlando on Saturday, their final game of 2017.

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Heat great Ray Allen tells court he was ‘catfished’

Retired NBA star Ray Allen said he is a victim of “catfishing,” and has asked a court to throw out a case where he is accused of stalking someone he met online.

Allen filed an emergency motion in Orange County, on Tuesday, one day after Bryant Coleman told the court he is being stalked by the 10-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion.

Allen said Coleman is the one who is stalking.

“Coleman pretended to be a number of attractive women interested in Ray Allen,” read the motion filed on Allen’s behalf. “Ray believed he was speaking with these women and communicated with them.” 

Attorney David Oscar Markus released a statement saying Allen took legal action in an effort to put an end to threats against him and his family, and that Allen was the victim “of an online scheme to extract money and embarrass him by someone who appears to be troubled.” 

In the filing, Allen said Coleman threatened to reveal details of their conversations, and that the sides eventually struck a deal to keep everything private. Allen said that deal has been violated and that Coleman has continued to harass him and his family through several social-media accounts.

“He posted about Ray’s wife, Ray’s children, Ray’s dog, Ray’s homes, Ray’s wife’s restaurant, and numerous other personal items,” read the motion. “Coleman not only posted about these things, he would actually post while physically located inside Ray’s wife’s restaurant in Orlando. And he would make sure they knew it, tagging Ray and his wife on those posts.” 

Allen asked the court to stop Coleman from “cyber-stalking.” It was not clear if Coleman has an attorney, and a working phone number for him could not be found.

“Ray regrets ever engaging with this person online and is thankful they never met in person,” Markus said. “This experience has negatively impacted Ray, and he hopes that others might use his mistake to learn the dangers of communicating online with strangers.” 

Allen is the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made. He won championships with Boston in 2008 and Miami in 2013, the second title coming after he made one of the most dramatic shots in playoff history — a game-tying 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left in regulation of Game 6 of The Finals against San Antonio, a game that the Heat would win in overtime to extend the series to a seventh game.

Allen also played for Milwaukee and Seattle, and last appeared in the league in 2014. He and his family have lived in the Miami area since.

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