Lakers News: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Reveals LeBron James Called Game 6 ‘Must Win’ In Text Message
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LeBron James, JaVale McGee, Markieff Morris, JR Smith
Mike Ehrmann-Getty Images

In what turned out to be a thrilling NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers prevailed in Game 6 over the Miami Heat and became the 2020 champions.

LeBron James was brilliant throughout the night, recording a triple-double (28 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists) and making sure the Lakers never took their foot off the gas. He was in complete control of the offense and his efforts led to a fourth Finals MVP Award.

James is the first player to ever win Finals MVP with three different franchises. This type of performance from the Lakers showed just how dominant they could be when everyone is locked in, and James ensured the team would not see another letdown like Game 5.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope revealed that the superstar sent out another group text to the team prior to Game 6 reminding them what was at stake.

“There was a message: Must win,” Caldwell-Pope said. “Also it said this is a Game 7 game. We wanted to treat it like it was Game 7, and we wanted to come out in the first quarter and impose our will, which we weren’t doing to start the series.

“But tonight, we came out with a fire that we weren’t going to be coming from behind in the first quarter, the first half.”

This was the second time James reached out to his teammates during the Finals, sending them a similar text prior to Game 4. The Lakers were up 2-1 at that point, but admitted that it had the pressure and feel of a must-win game as the Heat could have easily made this series if they tied it up at 2-2.

That “must-win” approach to Game 6 paid off as L.A. was locked in from the start on both ends, simply overwhelming Miami with their collective size, speed, and strength and never looked back after the first quarter. The game was blown wide one in the second quarter after the Lakers put on a defensive clinic that held the Heat to only 16 points to their 36.

The second half was much of the same, with the Lakers holding full control of the game. James nailed a few shots in the fourth to truly put the game away and the purple and gold eventually came away with the victory and ultimately the championship.

LeBron explains how he used previous Finals experiences during series

James has been a staple in the Finals and came away with his fourth title in his 10th appearance. That kind of experience allows him a mental advantage that few have and he explained how he used those moments to get through this recent matchup with the Heat.

“I mean for me, I’ve always stayed even keeled,” James said. “Throughout the highs, throughout the lows, you stay even keeled and get better with the process. You stay in the moment, which I am, and understanding that we can be better.”

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