LeBron James has kicked off November with three straight triple-doubles and can extend that streak to four against his former team when the Los Angeles Lakers host the Miami Heat on Friday night. James finished with 30 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists as Los Angeles rallied from 13 down in the fourth quarter to beat Chicago 118-112 on Tuesday and increase its winning streak to six after losing the season opener.
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"Obviously, we're witnessing greatness on a daily basis and all of us, we just want to consume as much as possible," Lakers guard Quinn Cook told the Los Angeles Times of James, who leads the league with 11.1 assists per contest. "He gives everything he has to us every single day. He is the first one in the gym. ... He's just the ultimate team player, the ultimate team leader." The Lakers enjoy six of the next seven contests at home after sweeping through a three-game road trip and won both meetings with the Heat last season, including at 108-105 triumph at the Staples Center on Dec. 10. Miami comes to town after rebounding from a 20-point loss at Denver to open its three-game trip with a 124-108 triumph at Phoenix on Thursday as Jimmy Butler poured in a season-high 34 points. The Heat were without forward Justise Winslow (13.8 points, 8.0 rebounds), who is in concussion protocol after a collision in the Denver game, and forward Derrick Jones Jr. left Thursday's contest with a hip strain.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, NBATV; FS Sun (Miami), Spectrum SportsNet (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE HEAT (6-2): In addition to Butler's big night (11-of-16 from the field) Thursday, veteran guard Goran Dragic matched his season best with 25 points off the bench and center Bam Adebayo registered his fourth double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Rookie guard Tyler Herro had a season-low two points at Denver, but came back to score 15 and drained three of his four tries from 3-point range off the bench. Undrafted guard Kendrick Nunn was held to 11 points at Phoenix, but is behind only Butler (18.8) for the team lead in scoring at 17.3, while Adebayo is pulling down a club-best 9.4 rebounds per contest.
ABOUT THE LAKERS (6-1): Los Angeles entered Thursday tied for fourth in the league in scoring defense (101.1), but the Lakers know they can improve on that side of the court after allowing the Bulls to shoot 50.6 percent from the field Tuesday. "The things we're doing wrong are correctable on our end," center Anthony Davis, who leads the team in scoring (26.6) and rebounding (10.9) told the Times. "So we just got to keep getting better and better and watch film, learn from it each day, each practice get better on the defensive end." Guard Avery Bradley (10.7 points, 51.9 percent from the field) is day-to-day after missing Tuesday's game with a leg injury.
1. Miami's 7-0 C Meyers Leonard made both his 3-point attempts Thursday and is 11-for-16 this season.
2. James is the first Laker to string three triple-doubles together since Hall of Famer Magic Johnson in 1987.
3. Heat F Udonis Haslem and G Dion Waiters have yet to play this season. They remain day-to-day with stomach viruses.
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Key Players to Watch
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Los Angeles Lakers
- LegEarly Dec | out
Bradley has a hairline fracture in his right leg. He is expected to be sidelined until at least the beginning of December.
- EyeQues Fri | questionable
Kuzma left the previous game due to a right eye injury, and it is unclear if he will dress for Friday's contest against the Thunder.
- ThumbLate Nov | out
Russell is sidelined with a sprained right thumb. He is expected to miss at least two weeks of action.
- ShoulderProb Tues | probable
Davis is expected to suit up Tuesday against the Thunder despite soreness in his right shoulder.
- ShoulderProb Sun | probable
Davis is expected to suit up Sunday against the Hawks despite right shoulder soreness.
- Shoulderday-to-day | probable
Davis sat out the previous game with lingering right shoulder soreness. It is anticipated that he will suit up against the Kings on Friday.
- Calfday-to-day | probable
Rondo missed the last game due to a mild right calf strain, but he is likely to take part in Friday's contest versus the Kings.
- Ankleday-to-day | probable
Caldwell-Pope exited the last game with a left ankle injury, but it is likely that he will be available Friday versus the Kings.
- HipOut Wed | out
Jones Jr. has been held out of the past four games with a left hip strain, and he will not suit up for Wednesday's matchup against the Cavaliers.
- IllnessProb Wed | probable
Johnson has missed the last three games due to an illness, but he is projected to be active against the Cavaliers on Wednesday.
- IllnessProb Wed | probable
Dragic sat out the previous game due to an illness, but it is expected that his symptoms will subside for Wednesday's contest against the Cavaliers.
- ConcussionOut indefinitely | out
Winslow is out of action with a concussion. It is unknown when he will be cleared to return.
- AchillesOut indefinitely | out
Okpala is sidelined due to a left Achilles strain, and there is no timetable for return.
- IllnessProb Sat | probable
Butler is dealing with an illness, but it is likely that he will be available for Saturday's contest against the Pelicans.
- SuspensionElig Dec 3 | out
Waiters has been suspended 10 games by the club due to conduct detrimental to the team.
- IllnessProb Thurs | probable
Dragic is battling an illness, but he is expected to face the Cavaliers on Thursday.