Lakers Fight Off Scrappy Heat, Inch Close To Title

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It wasn’t pretty, but the Los Angeles Lakers took a 3-1 series lead in the NBA Finals.

The Lakers committed seven first-quarter turnovers, and LeBron James looked mortal in the opening half, but Anthony Davis anchored a defensive effort that kept the Miami Heat at bay throughout the second half, long enough for some timely fourth-quarter offense to secure a 102-96 victory on Tuesday.

James finally came alive midway through the third quarter, scoring or assisting on 12 straight Lakers points, including a pair of three-pointers, that swung a two-point deficit into a six-point lead. They never trailed again. Miami battled back to tie the game at 83 apiece with 6:27 remaining in the fourth quarter, but James responded with another seven straight points for the Lakers.

James finished with 28 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, drawing within one win of his fourth NBA title with a third different franchise. Davis added 22 points, nine rebounds and four assists. The Lakers got nine three-pointers from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Danny Green, Kyle Kuzma and Markieff Morris, including a backbreaking three from Caldwell-Pope with 2:58 left.

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October 6, 2020 at 10:48PM

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