MIAMI (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – Frustrations began to boil over following the Miami Heat’s latest loss.
Heat center Hassan Whiteside is mad and frustrated and that could be a bad thing for the visiting Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.
Whiteside matched his career high of 32 points in Tuesday’s 136-130 double-overtime loss to the Orlando Magic but was irate afterwards due to his lack of touches down the stretch.
Whiteside also blocked five shots and had 15 rebounds in the game – he joined Rony Seikaly (1991) as the only Heat players with five straight outings of 15 or more boards – but was disturbed about the late offensive sequences in a game in which he took 22 shots.
“They say I’m the franchise player. I would think I should get more (shots), but I don’t know, man,” Whiteside told reporters in apparent criticism of coach Erik Spoelstra’s strategy. “I don’t think so, to be honest but Coach’s gonna coach.”
Whiteside is in the first season of a four-year, $98 million contract and may find other inspiration on Thursday as Shaquille O’Neal – who also starred for the Lakers – has his number retired by the Heat at halftime.
The Lakers dropped 10 of their last 11 games after succumbing 117-113 to the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday and are making the sixth stop of a seven-game road trip that concludes Friday in Orlando.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT, Spectrum SportsNet (Los Angeles), FSN Sun (Miami)
ABOUT THE LAKERS (11-20): Forward Larry Nance Jr. injured his left knee in Tuesday’s loss to Charlotte and the team announced Wednesday evening that Nance will be sidelined indefinitely.
An MRI exam performed in Miami displayed a bone bruise but the swelling in Nance’s knee left other tests inconclusive, so Nance will be re-examined on Saturday.
The second-year pro is averaging seven points and 5.5 rebounds and a prolonged absence would rob the Lakers of a valuable bench player.
ABOUT THE HEAT (9-20): Shooting guard Josh Richardson is just 8-of-33 shooting over the past three games as he continues to play through a wrist injury that helped cause his season shooting percentage to dip to 38.1.
“It’s just been real sore the last couple weeks,” Richardson told reporters, “But I got to work through it.”
Backup guard Tyler Johnson picked up the slack against Orlando with a career-best 32 points, also the most ever scored by a Heat reserve.
- The Lakers recorded a 102-100 overtime victory over the Heat last March 30 to halt their seven-game skid in the series.
- Los Angeles SG Jordan Clarkson matched his season high of 25 points on Tuesday and established a career best by making seven 3-pointers.
- Miami backup SG Wayne Ellington (hamstring) will miss his third straight game.
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