Although the Lakers put in their best performance of the Summer League at the end of the California Classic, it still ended in defeat as they fell to the Heat 80-76 on Wednesday afternoon.

Dalton Knecht had his best game yet as a Laker, scoring 20 points with nine rebounds and one assist. Colin Castleton continued his great game with a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds with two steals, three blocks and three assists.

Bronny James had a rough game on offense but played great on defense, grabbing five rebounds, three assists, two steals and three blocks. Maxwell Lewis contributed 14 points, eight rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block.

The Lakers quickly built a five-point lead and looked more energetic and focused than in the previous two games. Castleton was the team's offensive leader and even made a three-pointer. Knecht looked more confident, sinking his first three-pointers and storming to the basket to provoke a foul.

After missing the last game, Bronny was back in the starting lineup and scored a layup on an assist from Knecht. Alondes Williams got off to a good start for the Heat and helped them get back into the game. With Castleton on the bench, Knecht took over the offense and became the first player from either team to score in double figures. The score was tied at the end of the first quarter.

The Heat took the lead in the second quarter with an 8-0 run and the Lakers had more turnovers. Blake Hinson, who had struggled to score in the last game, finally got the ball in the net. Nine straight points for LA cut the deficit to three after Miami had taken a 10-point lead.

Despite his offensive struggles, Lewis made an impact by grabbing rebounds, dishing out dimes and blocking shots. LA went on a 9-0 run and took a four-point lead into halftime.

The Lakers extended their scoring run to 17-0 by the start of the third quarter. Knecht's shots were on target and he was also impressive with his rebounds. The Lakers took over the offense for much of the quarter and Knecht continued to show his skills.

Armel Traoré didn't score the ball well, but he got the rebound and made a block and steal. Miami's Williams and Keshad Johnson each scored 19 points and the Heat were up by one at the end of the quarter.

The final period began with a 7-0 Lakers run that stopped the momentum Miami had built late in the third quarter. Lewis was four of four in the second half after shooting zero of 10 in the first.

The game was tied with a minute to go after the Heat scored eight straight goals. They then took a two-point lead and with 18.9 seconds left, the Lakers had the ball but missed their shot attempt. The Heat made two free throws to seal the win.

The central theses:

Knecht and Castleton could be the duo to watch in the upcoming summer league games.

Bronny's offense is stagnant right now, but he's been all over the place defensively. His excellent defensive play will give him confidence on offense over time.

This young Lakers team has shown impressive development between the first two games and today.

Catch the first game of the Vegas Summer League on Friday at 4:30 p.m. PT against the Houston Rockets.

You can follow Karin on Twitter at @KarinAbcarians.

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