Lakers Are One Win Away From First Championship Since 2010 After Beating Miami Heat In Game 4
The Lakers are one win away from their first championship since 2010 after beating the Miami Heat in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday, 102-96, to take a 3-1 series lead.
There were nine lead changes and nine ties in a game in which neither team ever led by double-digits.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made a three-pointer followed by a layup on consecutive possessions to turn a two-point Lakers advantage to seven points, 95-88, with 2 minutes left.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel said he was "huge."
"KCP down the stretch, big guts to take and make those shots," Vogel said.
Anthony Davis put the nail in the coffin with 39.5 seconds left after making a three-pointer to give the Lakers a nine-point lead, 100-91.
After slow starts in which LeBron James and Davis only had eight points apiece in the first half, the Lakers' superstars finished strong.
James had 28 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. Davis had 22 points and nine rebounds. Caldwell-Pope added 15 points and Danny Green had 10.
Vogel credited the Lakers' defense for making the difference in Game 4.
"I was very proud of our defensive performance tonight," Vogel said. "Games 2 and 3 were not good enough, quite frankly, to win in the NBA Finals. We made some adjustments to our schemes, the guys raised their level from a competitive spirit standpoint and an alertness standpoint, and both were huge factors."
Jimmy Butler was one assist shy of a triple-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Tyler Herro added 21 points and seven rebounds.
Bam Adebayo, who missed the Heat's last two games because of a strained neck, returned Tuesday, finishing with 15 points and seven rebounds.
Game 5 is Friday at 6 p.m. PT.