The Los Angeles Lakers are champions for the 17th time in franchise history.
Los Angeles defeated the Miami Heat 106-93 in Sunday's Game 6 of the 2020 NBA Finals at Walt Disney World Resort, bouncing back from a Game 5 loss.
LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Rajon Rondo spearheaded a balanced effort and defensive showcase in the blowout, helping the Lakers tie the Boston Celtics for the most championships in NBA history.
Bam Adebayo led the way for Miami. While the Heat are surely not interested in moral victories, they still exceeded expectations this season and likely made an impression on potential free agents in reaching the Finals.
Notable Player Stats
- LeBron James, F, LAL: 28 PTS, 14 REB, 10 AST
- Anthony Davis, F, LAL: 19 PTS, 15 REB, 3 AST, 2 BLK
- Rajon Rondo, G, LAL: 19 PTS, 4 AST, 4 REB
- Bam Adebayo, F, MIA: 25 PTS, 10 REB, 5 AST, 2 BLK
- Jimmy Butler, F, MIA: 12 PTS, 8 AST, 7 REB
LeBron, AD, Supporting Cast Leave No Room for Drama
LeBron knows better than anyone that 3-1 leads in the Finals aren't always safe.
After all, he led the Cleveland Cavaliers back from that same deficit against the Golden State Warriors in 2016. He was dialed in from the start Sunday, like he had no interest in being on the other side of such a collapse.
He picked up Jimmy Butler on the Lakers' first defensive possession, found teammates cutting to the hoop on the other end of the floor and went coast-to-coast for a dunk and acrobatic layup in the first quarter.
It wasn't just the King, as Davis found his touch from the start on fadeaways while battling down low for easier looks. Rondo also provided a spark off the bench, spinning through the lane and even hitting from the outside as the Purple and Gold jumped out to a commanding advantage and never looked back.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also continued to provide secondary scoring as he has throughout the series by taking advantage of the space created when Miami collapsed on James and Davis.
Still, the story was James and Davis.
This is what the Lakers had in mind when they traded promising young pieces Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram to the New Orleans Pelicans to pair arguably the best big man in the game with one of the greatest players in history. Whether it was working in pick-and-rolls, suffocating the Miami attack or finding open teammates, the duo had everything working.
The result was LeBron's fourth career ring, Davis' first and a blueprint for more.
Lakers Defense Ends Heat's Magical Run
If it were possible to be in an ideal position trailing a series 3-2, the Heat seemed to find it coming into Sunday.
Role players Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn were excellent in Game 5, and Goran Dragic, who hadn't played since Game 1 because of a torn plantar fascia in his left foot, was active and played. There was also no reason for anything but confidence in Butler after he went toe-to-toe with LeBron in an epic Game 5 battle.
So much for that.
The Los Angeles defense set the tone from the beginning, as James aggressively pushed up on Butler, the guards chased Miami's perimeter shooters away from open looks and Davis locked up Adebayo after starting at the 5 with Dwight Howard on the bench.
It surely didn't help that the Heat continued to turn it over and miss free throws, but the versatile Lakers defense and smaller lineup around Davis' stifling interior presence was overpowering.
That does nothing to take away from Miami's magical run through the Eastern Conference playoffs and into Game 6 of the Finals. Butler cemented his place as a superstar, the role players shined in key moments, and Erik Spoelstra provided some of the best coaching of his career.
Perhaps this series would have been different if the Heat had remained healthy, but there was no question which side was better with a Lakers team that prides itself on its defense under Frank Vogel erasing all doubt on that end of the floor.
The teams will soon turn their attention toward the offseason as they look to add pieces to help them return to next year's Finals.