Miami Heat Facing Their First Elimination Game of the Postseason

Shandel Richardson

The Miami Heat have always considered themselves as a gritty team.

Now, they will have the ultimate opportunity to show it. After Tuesday's 102-96 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, the Heat trail 3-1 in the best-of-seven series. The Lakers have the chance to close it out Friday in Game 5 in Orlando.

"We'll respond," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "That's academic at this point. We'll just rest up (Wednesday) and get back to work and get ready for the next one."

The Heat continue their struggles against the Lakers tandem of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who combined for 50 points, 21 rebounds and 12 assists. Their play made the return of Heat center Bam Adebayo irrelevant. Adebayo was back in the lineup after missing the previous two games because of a neck strain.

The Heat now have to overcome one of the toughest obstacles in sports. Only 13 NBA teams have rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the postseason. The 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers are the only team to accomplish it in the Finals.

"We know that we got to be better," forward Jimmy Butler said. "We know that we can be better as I've been saying this entire time. We show glimpses of it and then we make some crucial mistakes, whether it be on the defensive end or the offensive end and beat ourselves in the end. Like I always say, they're a really good team. We've got to play damn near perfect to beat them." 

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