Game Five Preview: Lakers look to clinch NBA title

ORLANDO, FL – SEPTEMBER 30: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers react during Game One of the NBA Finals on September 30, 2020 at the AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers are so close to an NBA championship that they can taste the champagne mist. Tuesday night, they secured a 3-1 lead over the Miami Heat in a vintage back and forth affair. It took a net-ripping bomb from Anthony Davis in the waning seconds to dash any chance at a Heat comeback. LeBron James could not control his enjoyment, sources say.

Starters’ Adjustments

The Lakers started Dwight Howard in game four before inserting Markieff Morris in the second half. Morris’ shooting and versatility give LeBron and Davis the space needed to operate. The decision has not been made, but it’s expected that the Lakers will likely start him in the frontcourt in game five. Morris has shot 43.1 percent from long range in the playoffs, a much-needed tool in the Lakers arsenal.

Foot On The Gas

Everyone loves stats, and my favorite one is backed by the Lakers controlling the game. They’ve compiled a ridiculous 56-0 record when leading after the third quarter. Game five is one that cannot afford comfort and carelessness. The Heat are not going to lay down because of the series deficit or the jerseys that the Lakers are wearing. If the team wants to put an exclamation point on this record, it’s going to take everything they have left.

Keeping LeBron Going

A big reason the Lakers secured a victory on Tuesday was on the back of LeBron’s second half aggression. He finished with 18 points over the two quarters, including two three-pointers and seven points at the free-throw line. While he’s known to feel out the game and get teammates involved, this may be a game where this is done in spots.

Tip-off is scheduled for Friday at 9 PM PST/6 PM EST.

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