The Miami Heat lived to play another game as they displayed nerves of steel and strong determination down the stretch to end the winning run of the Kobe Bryant-inspired Black Mamba jersey of the Los Angele Lakers following a heart-stopping 111-108 win in Game 5 of the NBA Finals 2020.
The Lakers still lead the Best-of-7 series, 3-2.
The Heat overcame a stellar 40 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists performance of LeBron James with Jimmy Butler’s equally outstanding triple-double game of 35 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, to set up Game 6, which will be on October 11 (Oct. 12, PHI time).
Miami blew an 11-point lead twice – a 50-39 margin at the 3:41 of the second quarter and the 93-82 advantage at the 10:31 of the fourth.
On both occasions, James had to dig deep on his arsenal to the Lakers rally back to action, especially when Anthony Davis played through pain because of a foot injury on the third quarter.
But with Butler hitting his jumpers as well as involving his teammates in the offense, the Heat withered the rallies of the Lakers that includes on the final minutes, when the Los Angeles was poised to take over the game for good.
After being down 11-points, the Lakers countered with a 15-3 blast that put LA at the driver’s seat, 97-96 at the 6:18 mark, which was its first taste of the lead since the 18-17 edge at the 3:54 mark of the opening frame.
LA held on to a precarious lead before Duncan Robinson hit a triple that gave Miami back the lead 101-99 with 3:16 left to play.
The lead changes hands as James and Butler traded baskets.
The Lakers had the chance to win the game but Danny Green missed a wide-open trey attempt. The Lakers had second serving but Markieff Morris threw the ball away trying to lob a pass to Davis underneath the basket with only 2.2 seconds remaining.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope then gave up a foul to stop the clock but Tyler Herro the converted two pressure-packed free throws for the final tally. to seal the Heat victory.
With only 1.6 seconds left in the game and the Lakers have consumed all its timeout, all James could do was to take a wild shot from the halfcourt, which fell short of target.
Robinson contributed 26 points, Kendrick Nunn added 14, Bam Adebayo finished with 13, Herro made 12 and Jae Crowder chipped in 11 for Miami’s victory while Davis and Caldwell-Pope were the other Los Angeles players to score in twin digits with 28 and 16 points respectively. RCM