LeBron James registered a triple-double and the Los Angeles Lakers put together an all around dominant performance to defeat the Miami Heat, 106-93, in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. It came one game later than most expected, but the franchise secured its 17th championship.
Perhaps sparked by going small with Alex Caruso replacing Dwight Howard in the starting lineup, the Laker defense was active to start, protecting the rim and generating turnovers. Though with that, Duncan Robinson found space to drain two early 3-pointers.
That was offset by James pushing aggressively in the open court as he barreled to the rim for layups to put L.A. up out in front.
The defensive focus and intensity for both teams was in full effect as neither had much scoring success, but the Lakers held a narrow advantage thanks to their transition opportunities. Goran Dragic made his first appearance since Game 1, but Rajon Rondo and Anthony Davis extended the lead and put the Lakers up 28-20.
Rondo stepped up offensively to begin the second after driving to the rim for his third layup and stepping into a three to extend L.A.’s lead to 12 points. Meanwhile, James put pressure on the rim with his attacks to the basket, drawing fouls and keeping Miami’s defense off balance.
Despite some questionable calls from the officials, Davis’ rim protection stifled the Heat’s ability to score in the paint and allowed the Lakers to stay well in front. The defense continued to fuel the offense and with all the momentum, L.A. went into the half up 64-36.
The 28-point lead marked the second-largest in NBA Finals history.
It was another stellar defensive showing at the top of the third for the Lakers as the Heat had to settle for contested looks in the midrange area. Bam Adebayo tried to get his team going after drawing Davis’s fourth foul, but Los Angeles still held a 27-point advantage.
Even though they were comfortably ahead, the Laker never let up on either end and executed nearly to perfection. As a result, they went into the final quarter with a commanding 87-58 lead.
L.A.’s defensive focus took a noticeable dip and Adebayo and Miami capitalized with a quick 11-3 run to force a timeout from head coach Frank Vogel. However, Davis was able to settle the team back down with a tip-in and free throws.
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