Heat beat LeBron, Lakers trail Butler 112-98, Adebayo

MIAMI — The lesson for the Miami Heat this season is that even with a 22-point lead, you can’t play on your own money.

Even LeBron James arrives without much supporting cast.

Even when the Los Angeles Lakers arrived with a 14-20 record, playing on the second night of back-to-back games.

So Bam Adebayo was called back early in the fourth quarter, Jimmy Butler asked to play deeper late in the game, and the Heat led by 22 points with 14 minutes left.

The Heat need this for more than just being above .500 at 18-17 over the next five games in the West.

So they did as needed, ending a 2-2 imbalance at home with a score of 112-98.

Point guard Kyle Lowry left the team due to personal reasons. Butler and Adebayor played the men’s singles. Butler had 27 points and Adebayor had 23 points and 14 rebounds. On a night when he shot 6 of 17 from the field, Heat guard Tyler Herro had nine assists and a necessary late 3-pointer to make up for it.

James led the Lakers with 27 points.

Five-degree heat for Wednesday’s game:

1. Closing time: Fueled by 13 second-chance points, the Heat led 33-25 entering the second quarter. Then, it outscored the Lakers 19-0 on second-chance scoring over the first two quarters to lead 61-52 at halftime.

The Heat then went into the fourth quarter 95-78 before the Lakers closed it out 105-98 on a Dennis Schroder 3-pointer with 3:59 left.

But with 2 minutes left in the game, Herro made 5 of 16 shots in that period and hit a 3-pointer to give the Heat a 108-98 lead.

2. Next generation: Butler never became some kind of next-gen LeBron and, of course, Dwyane Wade, a homage to the Heat’s title win.

But performances like Wednesday’s showed his unique ability to manipulate games with high success.

Keeping him out Monday night and listing him as problematic ankle issues early Wednesday didn’t appear to be a factor, which is encouraging for the Heat who are out in their five games.

Sadly, even in a game like this, the Heat had to force Butler.

3. Bam: With Anthony Davis absent and the Lakers lacking more power in the rotation besides James, Adebayo has played in offensive mode with the likes of Thomas Bryant and Winn Gabriel.

This isn’t Adebayo assisting at the elbow. It was pure focus on the rim, going 10-of-15 from the field with no assists and no turnovers.

4. Two times and one out: The Heat have Butler and Adebayo back after they sat out in Monday night’s win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, while Lowry’s absence left the Heat less complete.

Lowry missed 13 games for the same family reasons, which he said “derailed” his season.

Gabe Vincent, who returned Monday after missing nine games with a knee problem, started in place of Lowry, with Victor Oladipo as the No. 1 point guard off the bench.

5. LeBron returns: Listed as questionable earlier in the day, James, 37, played at both ends of back-to-back games for just the second time this season.

And he was hot, scoring 10 points in the first 5:02 of the game, including a pair of 3-pointers.

The Heat rallied with a 9-0 run when James first took the break, and there was a similar pattern in the second quarter.

For perspective, James has gone 0 for 15 from 3-point range in his previous three road games.

After starting, LeBron played in his 1,393 regular-season games, surpassing Tim Duncan for the 10th in NBA history.