NBA analyst: LeBron, Lakers “wanted no part of 2-2”

The Lakers “didn’t want to mess around with Miami,” Marc Kestecher says, and they played like it, fending off the Heat in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
October 07, 2020 - 9:40 am
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The Miami Heat came oh-so-close to winning Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday. Instead, the Los Angeles Lakers held off the never-say-die Heat, 102-96, to go up 3-1 in the series.

Los Angeles is now one win away from its 17th NBA title.

“I think the Lakers realized they missed an opportunity in Game 3 and here was an opportunity now to go up 3-1,” NBA play-by-play voice Marc Kestecher said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “They don’t want to mess around with Miami. I think LeBron really respects Erik Spoelstra. He won two championships with him less than a decade ago. L.A. has the better talent from top to bottom, and yet Miami plays with such grit.”

Jimmy Butler, who recorded a 40-point triple-double in Game 3, came within one assist of a triple-double in Game 4. He finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists, and three steals.

“They follow that [never-give-up] credo led by Jimmy Butler,” Kestecher said of the Heat. “I believe Jimmy Butler when he says, ‘I don’t care that we’re down 3-1. We’re going to win the game. We’re not giving up.’ Whatever that Heat culture is they always talk about, I believe it when I see it time after time.”

The Lakers, meanwhile, got stellar play from their dynamic duo, as LeBron James and Anthony Davis combined for 50 points, 21 rebounds, 12 assists and four blocks. Kestecher believes the Lakers had a “way better defensive presence” in Game 4 relative to Game 3.

“It was a highly charged defensive game,” Kestecher said. “The game was played within a 12-, 14-point box either way all night long, and the Lakers had to earn it – and they did. . . . It was suffocating at the end with Anthony Davis on Jimmy Butler. Anytime they drove, there were bodies in the way.”

LeBron James can secure his fourth NBA title in Game 5 on Friday. Tip-off is at 9 p.m. ET.

“He knows that Miami has figured out and found ways to get the victory, to play well in Game 2 but fall short,” Kestecher said. “Obviously he wanted no part of 2-2 because then it feels like it’s anybody’s series.”