The Los Angeles Lakers could not overcome the pressure from the desperate Miami Heat on Friday, losing 111-108 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
The entire Heat team showed resilience and determination, following the lead of Jimmy Butler who registered his second triple-double of the series. In addition to Butler, five other Heat players ended up scoring more than 10 points, with Duncan Robinson erupting for 26, shooting 7-of-13 from downtown.
Meanwhile, L.A. endured a frustrating night with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope the only Laker to end the game in double-digits besides LeBron James and Anthony Davis. James had 40 and 13 rebounds while Davis chipped in 28 points despite re-aggravating a heel contusion.
“It’s about execution. It’s plays that we broke down too many times defensively,” he said of needed adjustments.
“If we don’t have those plays, it’s a different game. We have to be better on the defensive end and take care of what we’ve got to take care of. Duncan Robinson came up too many times wide open. Two four-point plays, offensive rebounds. Stuff that we can control.”
The Lakers definitely had their chances to seal the win that would allow them to celebrate their 17th NBA title. Danny Green missed a wide-open 3-pointer that would put L.A. two points up with just seconds left to go.
Markieff Morris secured an offensive rebound — his only stat besides three turnovers in 22 minutes on the floor — but tossed it way above Davis, who was jostling with Bam Adebayo underneath the rim.
But despite the tough loss, Davis says not much has changed for the Lakers, who still hold a 3-2 lead over the Heat. “I mean, there’s no pressure. We’re motivated, too,” he said.
“We are motivated to win a championship just as they are motivated. You’ve got two teams who want to compete. … It’s not going to be easy, but we expect to win.”
Vogel questions officiating
L.A.’s fate was in their hands as they could have snatched the win with a bit more focus and accuracy in the final seconds of the game. But Lakers head coach Frank Vogel expressed his belief officiating contributed to the outcome.
“I felt two bad calls at the end put Butler to the line and that’s unfortunate in a game of this magnitude,” he said. “Anthony Davis has a perfect verticality, should be a play on. And the time before that, Markieff Morris has his hands on the ball, that should be a play on.
“They were given four free throws and made it an uphill battle for us. Very disappointed in that aspect of the game, but our group’s fine. We’re going to bounce back strong.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!