The Los Angeles Lakers failed to wrap up the NBA Finals like most anticipated on Friday night, losing 111-108 to the Miami Heat in a Game 5 slugfest.
LeBron James scored 40 points and Anthony Davis added 28, but it was not enough to tip the scale in L.A.’s favor against the inspired Jimmy Butler. The Heat forward registered another Finals triple-double that in large part contributed to Miami’s win, chalking up 35 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.
Butler also was able to rely on his teammates throughout the game. Duncan Robinson chipped in 26 points and Kendrick Nunn added 14 off the bench, shooting 54.5% from the field.
Meanwhile, James and Davis received little support in Game 5 on an unusual night off for most Laker role players. Danny Green scored only eight points and failed to make the wide-open 3-pointer from the top of the key that would have given the Lakers a two-point lead late.
And L.A.’s second unit contributed as many points as Nunn alone, with Markieff Morris registering a rebound and three turnovers in 22 minutes on the floor. Morris’ turnover on an offensive rebound in the final seconds loomed large.
But James believes his teammates will bounce back in the next game. “They’re vets. I don’t think too much need to be said to them,” he said. “I believe they will be much better and I’m not saying they even played bad tonight. Everybody in the lineup tonight that got minutes gave the effort.
“We just had some mental breakdowns at times, and they make you pay for it. We’ve got to look at the film tomorrow and see how we can be better.”
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was the only other Laker not named James or Davis to end the night in double-digits. He scored 16 points, including three 3-pointers and shooting 37.5% from deep.
Davis ‘fine’ to play in Game 6
Davis’ injury was one of the main talking points of the night as he re-aggravated a heel contusion when Andre Iguodala stepped on his foot in the first quarter.
The All-Star forward stayed in the game but seemed to be in a pain and limped a lot, particularly in crunch time. However, Davis said he would be fit enough to face the Heat in Game 6.
“Iggy kind of stepped on it, re-aggravated it, but I’ll be fine on Sunday,” he said. “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.”
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