5:00 PM ET, December 25, 2013
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA
YouWager bettors were expecting for the game between the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers to be a truly exceptional one instead it looks like it will be a one-sided affair.
Today LeBron James and Miami go for a sixth consecutive victory as they visit the Kobe Bryant-less Lakers.
The league was hoping to showcase James and Bryant during its nationally televised five-game slate but this game won’t have nearly the same appeal without Bryant.
Bryant, the NBA’s fourth all-time leading scorer with 31,700 points, is out with a fractured knee after missing the first six weeks while recovering from a torn Achilles.
In the meantime, James is coming off one of his best efforts of the season, posting 38 points, eight rebounds and six assists in Monday’s 121-119 overtime victory versus the Atlanta Hawks.
The Heat (21-6) trailed by as many as 11 in third quarter and seven with 90 seconds left in regulation before storming back.
The Miami team, averaging 114.2 points during their winning streak, are 16-2 when scoring more than 100. The Heat are 9-0 when James scores at least 27.
That’s not great news for Los Angels (13-15), who has had their hands full with James over the years. The 28 year-old is averaging 29.8 points over his last 13 matchups against the Lakers.
The 2x NBA Champion totaled 71 points and shot 67.4 percent as the Heat swept last season’s two-game series. Miami has taken six of seven from the Lakers dating to March 2010.
The Lakers have dropped six of nine overall after getting blown out 117-90 versus the Phoenix Suns on Monday. Los Angeles was held to 37.0 percent shooting and outrebounded 62-39.
Miami has won 18 consecutive regular-season matchups when meeting the Western Conference, including six this season by an average of 14.9 points. Only one of those victories, though, came on the road, where the Heat are averaging 100.0 points compared to 108.1 at home.
Bettors might be seeing Dwyane Wade could after sitting out Monday to rest his knees. The 31 year-old is averaging 25.8 points and shooting 60.0 percent over his last four games.