In a game that lived up to the billing, the Los Angeles Lakers held off the Miami Heat, 113-110, to improve to 23-3 on the season.
Jimmy Butler had a chance to tie the game in the dying seconds, but his three-point attempt from the right corner bounced off the rim and time expired, ensuring the Lakers secured the win.
Here are some takeaways from a night that delivered some monster performances.
The LeBron and AD show continues
During the first quarter, James was the ball handler in a pick and roll with Anthony Davis. After setting the screen, Davis rolled into a pack of Miami defenders, James simply threw the ball in the air and Davis rose up and dunked the ball with authority.
Everybody knew what they were going to do and it simply didn't matter. It's been like that all season long for the superstar duo, who have wasted absolutely zero time forming incredible chemistry on the floor.
Putting that cake mix STRAIGHT in the oven 🎂 @SnoopDogg pic.twitter.com/DCNwKCAmAA- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 14, 2019
James finished with 28 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists, while Davis had 33 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.
Completely controlling the game on the offensive end, they mixed their usual paint efficiency with the outside ball in this one, combining to shoot 8-for-17 from beyond the arc.
Another night, another dominant performance on both ends for the Lakers MVP contending pair.
One streak continues while another one ends
Heading into this game, we knew one streak was going to end.
Miami were 11-0 at home, while the Lakers were carrying a 12-game road winning streak.
Bron provides the punctuation.- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 14, 2019
(📺: @SpectrumSN) pic.twitter.com/U20MkESilh
With the loss, Philadelphia are now the only undefeated team at home in the NBA, as they currently carry a 14-0 record in the comfort of their own building.
For the Lakers, the 13-game road winning streak is the second longest in franchise history. They won 16-straight road games way back in 1971-72, as a part of their 33-game overall winning streak.
The legitimacy of Miami
Although they lost, the performance by Miami was an impressive one, and further cements their position as one of the contenders in the East.
Jimmy Butler was outstanding on both ends of the floor with 23 points and four steals, though his 0-for-5 shooting night from beyond the arc including the potential game tying shot proved costly.
HIS LEFT STROKE JUST WENT VIRAL! pic.twitter.com/F4aIik7C4H- Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 14, 2019
The question remains whether the Heat has a legitmate second scoring option against elite teams, and those questions will remain after Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro combined to shoot 13-for-35 from the field for 32 total points.
The rookie trio have been sensational to this point in the season, but one has to wonder whether they will be able to sustain the high level of play across the course of an 82-game regular season and playoffs.
This is by far the biggest reason why the rumours will continue to swirl around the Heat as potential players in the trade market.