Isaiah Thomas had the ball in his hands, drove left and got a look at the basket but came up just short moment before the final buzzer sounded, as the Los Angeles Lakers lost 92-91 in a back-and-forth contest against the Miami Heat on Friday night at STAPLES Center.
"Isaiah got a clean look though," Lakers coach Luke Walton said after the game. "We can't complain about that. I think he was probably a little cold. He had been on the bench for a while, but if you get an open look for someone like I.T. at the end like that, you live with that."
Julius Randle and Goran Dragic played starring roles for their respective teams on the night, with Randle scoring 25 points and pulling down 12 rebounds. Dragic finished with a game-high 30 points, including the game-winning bucket with 15.2 seconds remaining in the game.
Instead of immediately calling timeout, Walton allowed his team to get the ball up the court and make something happen. With 7.5 seconds remaining in the game and the Lakers barely past half court, Walton called time out to design a play.
The coach wanted to get the ball in to Randle, but the Heat double-teamed the Lakers' player of the game, so Lonzo Ball in-bounded the ball to Thomas. The former University of Washington Huskie had only entered the game following Walton's late timeout after playing one of the more forgettable games of his Lakers' tenure.
Thomas ended up short on his attempt, and the game ended with the Lakers' backup point guard missing eight of his nine shots from the field on the night and recording five points, three assists and three turnovers.
In order to get Thomas into the game, Walton took out Brook Lopez. Lopez finised the night with 18 points, four rebounds and two assists, including four of six from three-point land.
Lopez and Travis Wear, the latter of which is on a 10-day contract, combined to hit seven of the Lakers' nine three-pointers on the night. Ball and fellow rookie Kyle Kuzma both made one of their three attempts from distance on the night.
Kuzma added to his tally after becoming the rookie record holder in made three-pointers a couple games earlier. Kuzma took the mantle from D'Angelo Russell, who made 130 deep daggers in his first season. Prior to that, the record had been held by Nick Van Exel for over 20 years.
With 132 three-pointers, Kuzma sat in front of his locker and said, "It's pretty special, anytime you have any record but especially with the Lakers. It's pretty special."
The 21-year-old forward added, "It's also pretty cool just the simple fact that everybody said, pre-draft, I couldn't shoot. It's pretty funny how it works."
Ultimately, the Lakers lost on Friday night in a close game against a team that has a winning record and looks like it will ease into the Eastern Conference playoffs. With the loss, the Lakers fell to 31-38 on the season, while the Heat improved to 37-33.
Walton, though, seemed particularly agitated with the loss and said, "They were tougher than we were tonight, which is really frustrating. I don't want to lose, but I don't mind losing when other teams make plays."
The Heat also collected five more offensive rebounds than the Lakers on the night. Walton lamented the team's 20 turnovers and the Heat's 18 extra field goal attempts on the night.
"We couldn't even make a post pass, which is the basic fundamentals of passing, so that is frustrating."