LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Lakers Rout Heat for LAL's Record-Tying 17th Title

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) goes up for a dunk during the first half in Game 6 of basketball's NBA Finals against the Miami Heat Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

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.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

LeBron and the Lakers before Game 6 😀 https://t.co/FP5I1XKFDX

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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

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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.

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

Behind the back, scoop finish with the left πŸ₯΅ https://t.co/YI33T9sAJP

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

Set the tone, King πŸ‘‘ https://t.co/wv5xIFbIHO

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Man on a mission πŸ‘‘ https://t.co/ptZm9nZXv0


AD grabs the offensive board and slams it home with two hands! #NBAFinals @Lakers 27 @MiamiHEAT 20 Game 6 on ABC https://t.co/Gjqde1a6DN

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.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

OKAY KCP 😳 (via @NBA) https://t.co/OFRBosgSM8

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Playoff Rondo πŸ”₯ 9 points in 6 minutes off the bench (via @NBAFRANCE) https://t.co/sF60iaudxf

JJ Redick @jj_redick

The Rondo game

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.

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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.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Dragic has checked into the game πŸ’ͺ He's dealing with a Plantar fasciitis tear in his foot and hasn't played since Game 1 https://t.co/0VFkMN9dYR

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.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

πŸ‘€ https://t.co/HedxcxCCaR

Kevin O'Connor @KevinOConnorNBA

The Lakers defense is on another level right now. Flying around, constantly communicating, rarely missing rotations. Just incredible effort and focus so far.

Laker Film Room @LakerFilmRoom

This Lakers team has a top gear on defense that very few teams have ever hit. What beautiful, beautiful defensive basketball. That also gets us out on the run and the result is this.

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.

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What's Next?

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.