The Los Angeles Lakers secured their second overtime win in a row on Wednesday at Staples Center, this time against the Miami Heat, 120-117.

For the second consecutive game following their inexcusable showing against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Lakers put forth a tough, gutsy performance. No matter shorthanded, sheer effort goes a long way — and the Lakers know it.

Russell Westbrook played his most clutch game in Los Angeles in front of a raucous crowd — 25 points, 12 rebounds, 14 assists.  Yes, he had eight turnovers, but they weren’t overly deflating nor did they come at the worst possible time. In general, he struck the right balance between aggressive and responsible. More importantly, he confidently drained back-to-back jumpers in the final minute of regulation — his biggest shots since joining the Lakers.

“One thing about Russ, he has no conscience,” Anthony Davis said. “He can miss 20 in a row and shoot the next one. He’s fearless, relentless.”

Davis is talking about Russ’ short-term memory, but it could also be described as resiliency. In fact, both AD and Westbrook used that exact word when assessing their team’s collective effort.

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“Resiliency,” Davis said when asked to define the win. AD had 24 points and 13 rebounds in 45 exhaustive minutes battling with Bam Adebayo and the most physical team in basketball.

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In addition to the usual injury list that features LeBron James and a cohort of role players, the Lakers were without Austin Reaves and Rajon Rondo vs. Miami, both of whom nursed minor left hamstring strains.

“Just resiliency you know,” Westbrook echoed. “Guys down and short numbered; we’re in a position where nobody is going to feel sorry for us. I think I mentioned it last game, we just got to compete. Regardless of who we’re playing, regardless of the circumstances. We’ve got to compete at the level we know how to and give ourselves a chance to win a game.”

The Lakers trailed by nine points with just under five minutes to go as the game seemed to be slipping away. However, a last-gasp charge led by Westbrook, Malik Monk, and staunch defense (and a couple of lucky breaks) powered the Lakers to their best win of the young season.

“It was a gritty fight,” Vogel said. “We’re undermanned, we’re learning each other. We played a really good team. Some would say the best in the league, or best in the East. Our guys competed. We challenged them to do better at halftime on the defensive side of the ball. I thought they rose to that challenge and we just gutted out a tough win.”

Some games are productive in a schematic sense. Wins like this, though, strengthen a team’s backbone and build championship habits.

“Gives us character,” Westbrook said. “Puts us in the right set of mind, spirit, and we know that we have enough in this locker room, even with so many guys out, that we have enough to keep our head afloat.”