The Los Angeles Lakers are at the doorstep of the franchise’s 17th championship after they defeated the Miami Heat in a thrilling battle in Game 4 of the NBA Finals that nearly went down to the wire.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis led the way in the second half, dominating on both ends of the floor while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s offensive boost late in the fourth quarter helped seal the game.
Los Angeles smothered Miami defensively and forced them into incredibly difficult looks that ultimately led to a victory. The Heat have been the toughest team the Lakers have faced this postseason as they are incredibly resilient, well-coached and mentally tough.
Miami has not backed down and had it not been for some poor shooting stretches in the fourth quarter they could have stolen Game 4 and evened up the series. The Lakers showing their own resolve now has them in position to wrap up the Finals on Friday.
According to Tim Reynolds of AP, it appears they are giving themselves some extra motivation for Game 5 by making a noteworthy change to the Black Mamba jersey:
The Lakers have decided to wear the Mamba jerseys on Friday night. Originally were scheduled to wear them in Game 2 and Game 7.
They'll still wear them in Game 7 if it happens. Not in Game 6, if that happens; Heat would be in black for that game.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) October 7, 2020
The Lakers wore the Mamba uniform in once in each previous round as well as Game 2 of the NBA Finals, and are a perfect 3-0 when donning them. Davis himself admitted that the team plays harder and with more effort while wearing the jerseys because of the late Kobe Bryant.
Bryant’s legacy and influence over the storied franchise has been a rallying point for the current roster and seems to have provided a lift during this current postseason run. Jeanie Buss opened up about how proud she is the Lakers are paying tribute to Bryant and they have the chance to truly honor the legend by bringing home a championship.
Davis getting ready for Game 5
In his first Finals appearance, Davis has looked like he belongs on the NBA’s biggest stage with how well he has performed.
Game 4 was a defensive masterpiece from Davis as he routinely altered and prevented easy looks for Miami, helping L.A. come away with the win. Now one win away from his first title, the big man detailed what the next couple of days of preparation look like for himself and the team.
“We’re going to watch film,” Davis said. “We got some guys who got banged up tonight; they’re going to get healthy. Couple days off to get back right for Game 5. Watch film, go over some things on the court.
“They are going to make adjustments. We got to be prepared for it. We’re going to make adjustments. It’s going to be a big two days for us. Come out Game 5 and hopefully finish it off.”
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