LOS ANGELES (AP) - Nunn scored 27 points, Jimmy Butler had 24 points and eight rebounds, and Miami held off the Los Angeles Lakers 96-94 Saturday night in an NBA Finals rematch.
Bam Adebayo had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat in the teams’ first meeting since the Lakers won their 17th championship with a six-game victory over Miami in the Florida bubble four months ago. The Heat scored only 15 points in the fourth quarter, but they held the Lakers to 17 and hung on when Alex Caruso missed a long jumper at the buzzer.
The victory was Miami’s second straight following a three-game skid during this seven-game road trip. The defending Eastern Conference champions (13-17) have been under .500 since Jan. 12, but their confidence is growing.
LeBron James had 19 points, nine assists and nine rebounds as the champs lost their second straight game without starters Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder.
James stole the Heat’s inbounds pass with 8.4 seconds left to create one last chance for the Lakers, but the 17-time All-Star passed out of a double team to Caruso, who capped his scoreless 20-minute night by missing.
Davis missed his third straight game after aggravating his strained right calf last weekend, and Schroder missed his second straight under the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
Kyle Kuzma scored 23 points while hitting four 3-pointers, and Montrezl Harrell had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers.
The injury absences don’t account for the Lakers’ shooting woes over the last 10 games, including a 39% performance against Miami. LA missed five of its last six shots, including Wesley Matthews’ rushed, off-balance 3-pointer with 15 seconds left.