A game that went down to the wire, the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers gave the fans watching home one of the best NBA games this season. In the end a winner must be determined as the Heat squeezed by with a 111-108 win over the Lakers.
Jimmy Butler displayed his best performance since game three. He picked up a triple double (35 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists) while shooting 57.9 percent from the field and a perfect 12/12 from the charity stripe.
When the NBA Finals started on September 30, Miami’s Duncan Robinson has unperformed with some discussion if he could provide a big game for his team. Last night Robinson proved he could, scoring a playoff-career high 26 points while shooting over 50 percent from the three-point line.
Every game in the first quarter of the finals had shown to be competitive and last night was no different. The Lakers and Heat tried to find runs to give their squads a big lead but to no avail.
Right before the end of the quarter, a scary incident occurred as Anthony Davis fell onto the court. It resulted in Davis re-aggravating a contusion in his right heel. He never went back to the locker room and finished the game with a double-double (28 points and 12 rebounds).
Miami forced a couple of turnovers at the start of the second quarter and scored quickly. At one point they got their lead up to 11, but LeBron James did what he could to cut the deficit for his team. James finished the first half with 21 points.
Butler nailed a three as the shot clock expired and with 1.1 seconds remaining in the first half. The Heat went into the locker room winning 60-56. Out of the 60 points scored by Miami, Butler’s scoring and passing contributed to 38 of those points.
In the third quarter the Lakers were trying to grab the lead. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would hit a three to tie the game at 70. It seemed Los Angeles would take over from there as the signs pointed to them for a possible run.
However, Miami would outscore Los Angeles 18-12. Bam Adebayo, who wasn’t looking like himself early in the game, turned it around in the third quarter. Up 86-82 Adebayo would get into the paint for a dunk and then get back on defense, blocked a shot as the buzzer sounded to end the third.
Robinson hit a three to start the fourth quarter; pushing the lead up to nine and trying to start a run for the Heat. LeBron and the Lakers refused to let that happen and applied pressure to get some defensive stops.
With over six minutes remaining in the game, Caldwell-Pope made his third and final three-pointer of the game, giving Los Angeles their first lead since the first quarter. Caldwell-Pope finished the game with 16 points.
The Heat and Lakers went back and forth from there. When the game reached less than two minutes to go, Butler and James traded shot after shot in an effort to grab the lead from each other.
Tied at 101, Butler made a mid-range jump shot to push Miami back out in front. Ensuing possession James drove to the paint and made his bucket while being fouled in the process. He would convert on the three-point play and give the Lakers the lead back.
With a little over 16 seconds left in the game, Butler attacked the basket and was fouled by Davis. Butler made both his free throws to give Miami a 109-108 lead. The Lakers would get one more chance to possibly score and take home the NBA championship.
Danny Green missed an open three-pointer but Markieff Morris grabbed the offensive board. Morris then tried to feed it to Davis who was fighting against Bam Adebayo in the post. So far in this series, Davis has won the battle against Adebayo, unfortunately the pass by Morris was too high and sailed over his teammate for a costly turnover.
Tyler Herro would be intentionally fouled and made both his free throws to give Miami the 111-108 lead and the win over the Lakers.
Game six of the NBA Finals is set for Sunday night at 7:30 pm.