Lake Buena Vista, US, Oct 6 (efe-epa).- Los Angeles Lakers won Game 4 of the NBA Finals 102-96 against the Miami Heat at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Tuesday to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Once again, the combination of forward LeBron James and center Anthony Davis proved to be the winning factor for the LA team, which is playing its first NBA Finals since 2010 and seeking its 17th title.
James and his teammates regained their intensity in the game, especially in defense, and although the Heat’s star center Bam Adebayo was back in the lineup after missing the previous two games due to an injury, the LA team was always in control of the scoring despite not being able to widen the lead.
It finally did so in the last three minutes of the game when an inspired Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored five straight points, including a three-pointer, to take the score to 95-88 with two minutes of play remaining.
That’s when the game ended for the Heat, who tried to stage a miraculous comeback but failed as Lakers veteran point guard Rajon Rondo scored a basket and Davis grabbed a defensive rebound and followed it up with a three-pointer to take the score to 100-91 with 39.5 seconds to play.
That was all the Lakers needed to get within one win of a record-equaling 17th NBA title, which would tie them with the Boston Celtics for the most championships.
James finished with a double-double of 28 points and 12 rebounds – 10 defensive, handed out eight assists, had one steal and turned the ball over six times to emerge as the leader of the Lakers, who had four players, all starters, with double-digit figures.
Davis anchored the offensive effort and dominated inside the paint to finish the game with 22 points, nine rebounds, four assists, one steal and four blocks.
Meanwhile Caldwell-Pope, who played his best game so far, emerged as the surprise winning factor by getting 15 points, including three three-pointers and five assists, which left him the team’s third-highest scorer.
Guard Danny Green, who did a great defensive job, added 10 points, captured two rebounds and two steals.
Heat star-forward Jimmy Butler, who had sculpted his team’s first win of the contest in the previous game, fell short of recording his second straight triple-double and failed to bail out his team this time around.
He finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and three steals to emerge as the leader for the Heat.
Rookie guard Tyler Ferro, who kept his team in the game with his three-pointers in the fourth quarter, finished as the second-highest scorer with 21 points and captured seven rebounds and handed three assists.
Forward Duncan Robinson was the Miami team’s third highest scorer with 17 points, while Adebayo added 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Game 5 will be played on Friday at the same venue. EFE-EPA