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Lakers vs. Heat Final Score: Alex Caruso’s return not enough to cool Heat in blowout loss

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The Lakers lost their second consecutive game to begin the LeBron James era in Los Angeles.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers were set on fire like a pre-customized purple and gold Paul George jersey in Tuesday’s 89-74 blowout loss to the Miami Heat.

Miami led the Lakers 31-19 at the end of the first quarter after shooting a blistering 57 percent from three. Duncan Robinson, an undrafted 6’8” forward and former teammate of Mo Wagner at the University of Michigan, led the Heat with 9 points on 3-4 shooting from behind the arc in the opening quarter.

Los Angeles, surviving behind a combined 15 points from rookies Svi Mykhailiuk and Wagner, struggled to get just about anything going in the first half of play. The Lakers shot a combined 35 percent from the field and 25 percent from three, a death sentence when against Miami’s 52 percent and 58 percent respectively.

Josh Hart, coming off an impressive 23-point outing in Monday’s match-up with Sacramento, struggled all-around against the solid defense of Derrick Jones Jr. Despite even an appearance from Alex Caruso — who returned to the Lakers after helping lead Team USA to a 5-1 record in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers — Los Angeles trailed the Heat 53 to 34 at the end of the half.

The second half played out just as brutal as — if not more than — the first, with the Heat staying hot and the Lakers remaining frigidly cold all the way to a decisive defeat.

Jones, the 6’7” former Phoenix Suns forward, ended with an impressive 21 points on 8-14 shooting to go along with five rebounds, three steals, and four blocks. Duncan Robinson never cooled down, ending the game with 19 points on 7-9 shooting, including this ridiculous sequence.

While no Laker particularly shined in the brutal outing, Svi Mykhailiuk continued to show promise as a potential steal. The 47th pick in the second round of the draft poured in 12 points on 5-11 shooting, and notably did so without shooting particularly well from behind the arc (2-8).

The Lakers will get a day off for the Fourth of July before playing their final game in Sacramento on Thursday, July 5 at 12 p.m. against the Golden State Warriors.