The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat 102-96 in a physical Game 4 contest to take a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals. L.A. stepped up after a tough loss in the previous meeting but had to suffer many knocks and bumps to secure the vital victory.
Anthony Davis was one of the Lakers who often found themselves on the receiving end of Miami’s uncompromising fouls. The forward got poked in the eye, something that has become a regular occurrence in the Orlando bubble.
And he then was shaken up after Jimmy Butler pushed Alex Caruso and sent him crashing into Davis’ legs in the fourth quarter.
Although visibly hurting, the seven-time All-Star forward was able to finish the game and ended up with 22 points, nine rebounds, and four assists, making a number of crucial defensive plays in the meantime. “I’m not going to come out of the game. I’m fine,” Davis said.
“It’s basketball. It’s the Finals. The game is physical. Plays happen where guys get hit, but you’ve got to be willing to leave it out on the floor.”
Davis added Lakers veteran JaVale McGee had told his teammates he expected Game 4 to be a gritty encounter with the Heat. “JaVale told us before the game, we should come back into the locker room exhausted, leave it all out on the floor,” Davis said.
“It was just some random plays. I happened to get hit in the eye. Then get hit in the leg by A.C., but just got to shake it off and fight through it. We got two days to get back healthy and get ready for Game 5.”
Alex Caruso suffered a hip contusion in the first half and LeBron James seemed to have grimaced when grabbing his groin in the fourth quarter.
Vogel: Davis ‘wants this more than anything’
Davis put on a remarkable overall performance in Game 4 and sealed the win for the Lakers with a dagger 3-pointer with 39 seconds left to play, once again showing the vast improvement he has recorded this year.
And when asked about what contributed to the All-Star’s development in his first season in L.A., head coach Frank Vogel pointed out Davis’ character and determination. “You don’t have to say anything to Anthony Davis. He wants this more than anything,” Vogel said.
“Obviously he’s a great player capable of imposing his will on the game on both ends of the floor. You saw what he did tonight defensively, and obviously that big three helped seal it, but was great on both ends all night.”
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