VIDEO: LeBron James’ clutch steal nearly set up epic Alex Caruso buzzer-beater
The Los Angeles Lakers nearly pulled off the late game comeback against the Miami Heat after LeBron James’ clutch steal led to a potential game-tying buzzer-beat from Alex Caruso. Unfortunately, Caruso’s jumper from the right wing clanked the front of the rim and Miami survived to win, 96-94.
Watch the frantic finish to end the game below, via ESPN:
The Heat survive to beat the Lakers: pic.twitter.com/wFa7oCsGHf
— ESPN (@espn) February 21, 2021
That’s a heartbreaker, for sure. Down by 4 points with 12.4 seconds to go, the Lakers still managed to get an opportunity to win or send the game into overtime with James’ clutch defensive play. He did a great job anticipating the play and poked the ball away from Jimmy Butler, who would have likely closed the game with free-throws.
Some people may go on social media and fault James for not taking the last shot there. And predictably, the most famous LeBron hater out there is already on the job.
LeBron, 1-8 from three, wanted no part of shooting that last-second three to win, instead kicking to Caruso – Caruso??? – for a tying two that wasn't even close.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) February 21, 2021
However, as he has done throughout his career, the 4-time NBA champion made the right basketball play after getting double-teamed. He found a wide open Caruso on the perimeter. The ball just did not bounce Los Angeles’ way.
The Lakers have now lost two consecutive games to some Eastern Conference elites and have dropped three of their last four games. LeBron James will need to carry the load for the defending champs over the next four weeks with Anthony Davis out with a calf strain. Starting point guard Dennis Schroder also missed Saturday’s blockbuster NBA Finals rematch due to the league’s health and safety protocols.