After waking up from his pregame nap, LeBron James got in that NBA Finals zone. With a full realization of the moment he was in, James decided to set the tone for his team by sending a two-word text in the Lakers’ group chat. ‘Must win.’
Coming off an incredible Game 3 performance, Miami’s confidence was through the roof. Especially with Bam Adebayo returning to the lineup. Letting them tie the series at two apiece would’ve been a potential series shifting moment, and taking the wind of their sails was a must for the Lakers.
The Lakers kept control of the Finals and are up 3-1 in the series. They are only a win away from winning the organization’s 17th NBA championship – first after a ten-year-long drought – with the first chance to close out the series coming on Friday.
LeBron led the Lakers to Game 4 victory by putting up a near triple-double of 28 points, 12 rebounds, and 8 assists. He came up big in the fourth, dropping 11 points to go along with zero turnovers. James shot 8-for-16 from the floor and was great from the charity stripe, knocking down 10 of 12 free throw attempts. For the 24th time in the NBA Finals, LeBron put up a 25-point, 10-rebound performance becoming the first player in NBA history to reach such threshold. But more importantly, he once again delivered when the lights were brightest.
Anthony Davis‘ great two-way display was capped off with him hitting a game-sealing three-pointer with 39.6 seconds left to put the Lakers up by 9. He finished the contest with 22 points and 9 rebounds, perfectly playing the second-fiddle role to James. KCP played the third-star role, as he put up 15 points in 32 minutes of action. Danny Green added 10.
Jimmy Butler put up 22 for the Heat – one assist shy of another triple-double. Tyler Herro added 21, and Duncan Robinson had 17. After missing two games with a neck injury, Adebayo had a solid outing of 15 points and 8 rebounds, but Miami’s efforts were snuffed out by the guys wearing purple and gold, No.23 in particular.
Our confidence ain’t going nowhere. It’s going to stay high. I’m going to make sure that it stays high because it’s going to have to be at an all-time high to get this next win.Jimmy Butler
The Heat have shown time and time again that writing them off prematurely is a mistake. Friday is their chance to keep their NBA title dreams alive, in what will be another installment of one of the biggest games of LeBron’s career. After his meltdown against Dallas in ’11, all he did was delivered in those. Yesterday was no exception, and Friday should be no exception.