The Los Angeles Lakers, wearing the famed Black Mamba City Edition Jersey, came up short in Game 5 of the NBA Finals as they suffered a 111-108 loss to Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat.
With their backs to the wall, Miami came out the much more aggressive and active team on both ends as they went up double digits in the second quarter. However, LeBron James kept the game close with timely buckets until the defense eventually picked up to narrow the gap.
Los Angeles was only down one with 16 seconds left in the game when Danny Green missed a wide-open 3-pointer at the top of the arc. The Lakers were able to get the offensive rebound, but Markieff Morris tried to throw an entry pass to Anthony Davis that sailed out of bounds and effectively ended the game.
Davis gave a monstrous effort in the loss, scoring 28 points to go along with 12 rebounds, three steals and three blocks. But the concern is with his right foot as he aggravated an injury late in the first quarter.
Davis went down to the floor in pain and walked gingerly to the bench during a timeout before eventually returning. The Lakers said Davis re-aggravated a heel contusion.
“Iggy kind of stepped on it, re-aggravated it, but I’ll be fine on Sunday,” Davis explained after the Lakers’ loss. “It happened in the last series against Denver. I think it was Game 5, if I’m not mistaken.
“Iggy just re-aggravated it. Went out the end of the first and it just kind of wore off and got back to normal. Just kept moving around, trying not to sit down. Get that adrenaline going and I was able to keep going and keep playing.”
Davis’ health is an obvious concern for the Lakers as he was not moving well throughout the night which could affect his performance in Game 6. He was able to gut out the remainder of the game, but it remains to be seen how his foot will respond with only one day of rest until Game 6.
If Davis is limited, L.A. could be in major trouble as he was the primary defender on Jimmy Butler who erupted for his second triple-double of the series (35 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists). Butler torched the Lakers in the fourth quarter, hitting clutch shots and free throws to put the Heat ahead.
Late-game defensive lapses cost Lakers
With the game in the balance late in the fourth, the Laker defense failed to contain Butler who was able to get Davis switched off of him. Morris tried his best to hang with the Miami star, but his clutch shooting was too much to overcome.
Butler put the Heat up for good in the final minute after a nice screen from Jae Crowder freed him up to attack the basket and drew a shooting foul on Davis. He hit both free throws to put his team up one and the Lakers failed to finish on the other end.
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!