MIAMI (AP) — Justise Winslow and Hassan Whiteside each finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds, and the Miami Heat rallied from 19 points down to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 115-107 on Thursday night.
Winslow set a career high for points and tied a career best in rebounds for the Heat, who raised Shaquille O’Neal’s No. 32 jersey to the rafters in a halftime ceremony.
Goran Dragic scored 21 and James Johnson added 19 for Miami, which snapped a three-game slide and went 3-3 on its six-game homestand.
Lou Williams scored 27 points for the Lakers, who fell to 5-14 on the road. Nick Young scored 20 and D’Angelo Russell had 17.
The largest deficit Miami had overcome this season was 14, against Milwaukee on Nov. 17 — a game that turned wildly and became a Heat rout.
This one wasn’t decided until the final moments.
Williams made three free throws with 1:01 left after referee Aaron Smith said he was fouled by Josh Richardson behind the arc, a call the Heat reacted to angrily after their six-point lead was cut in half. But on the ensuing possession, Whiteside tipped in a miss by Winslow to make it 112-107 and the Heat held on.
The Lakers started the game on an 11-0 run and once led 42-23. But the Heat took their first lead in the third, and back-to-back 3s from Dragic and Tyler Johnson put Miami up 105-99 with 3:16 left.
Lakers: Julius Randle left the team to fly back to Los Angeles and be with his fiancee, about to deliver their first child. That put Luol Deng at power forward and Brandon Ingram at small forward. … Deng became the sixth player to record a start with both teams in the Lakers-Heat rivalry. He also had two assists, giving him 1,996 for his career. … Larry Nance Jr. (bone bruise, left knee) will be evaluated again this weekend in Los Angeles.
Heat: Tyler Johnson addressed the crowd pregame, wishing fans a happy holiday season. … At 10-20, the Heat are tied for the sixth-worst 30-game start in franchise history. A year ago they were 18-12 at this point. … Miami was again without Dion Waiters (groin), Rodney McGruder (ankle) and Wayne Ellington (hamstring). Waiters and Ellington will not travel to Friday’s game in New Orleans.
O’Neal not only has his numbers (32 in Miami, 34 with the Lakers) retired by both teams, he remains a fixture in their respective record books. O’Neal ranks among the top 10 for both franchises in several categories — including field goal percentage (No. 1 with Heat, No. 2 with Lakers), points per game (No. 2 with Lakers, No. 3 with Heat), rebounds per game (No. 6 with Lakers, No. 7 with Heat) and blocked shots (No. 2 with Lakers, No. 6 with Heat).
Surprise: Having O’Neal around tended to raise your odds of winning. The Lakers were 9-2 against the Heat with O’Neal in the lineup. The Heat were 3-1 against the Lakers when they had the Hall of Famer on the court.
Lakers: Visit Orlando on Friday, before going home for a Christmas matchup with the Clippers.
Heat: Visit New Orleans on Friday, then do not play again until hosting Oklahoma City on Dec. 27.
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