By Tim Reynolds
AP Basketball writer
Lake Buena Vista, Florida (AFP) – Anthony Davis punched his chest in celebration. LeBron James gave a big shout.
The Los Angeles Lakers are on the cusp of what they want most – the first franchise tournament in 10 years.
Davis’ three-pointers with 39.5 seconds left was a backlash, James finished 28 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, and the Lakers beat the Miami Heat 102-96 in Match 4 of the NBA Finals Tuesday night.
The Lakers lead 3-1 and could win the title when the series resumes on Friday.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 15 and Danny Green added 10 Lakers, who were not late at any time in the last 20 minutes. Davis made 3 pointers in the last minute 100-91, and began the celebration that took the Lakers all night to earn.
James said, “I felt like a final match.” “I felt both teams were desperate … and that’s it.”
Jimmy Butler scored 22 points for Miami, who got 21 from Tyler Hero, 17 from Duncan Robinson and 15 from Pam Adebayo, who returned after missing two matches due to a neck injury.
James’ 3-pointer with 8:18 left in third place to preach 55-54 and set a tone for the way it would have gone the rest of the night; Los angeles driving, miami hunt.
The Lakers rose by seven with 2:27 remaining in third after 3 indicators by Davis – the 71-64 margin represents the largest on both sides to that point. Miami scored the next six goals to reach one point, but couldn’t return to the top, a trend that continued in fourth.
Herro made 3 early in the fourth inning to score Miami inside one again; Hit immediately missed Markiev Morris in a 3-point effort, making all three shots. Butler scored from the inside to equalize the match before 6:27 left; James scored the next five points himself, including a three-point play where he ended up flat on his back after turning the ball perfectly off the cup to score while driving while on call.
Jump here, jump over there. Those differences were of late, and the Lakers made breaks of their own.
Butler had a 3 angle that would give Miami the edge of the lead with 3:05 left; Caldwell Pope made a 3 corner kick in the other end seven seconds later and the Lakers were ahead of 93-88. Then Miami turned the ball in breach of the shot clock; Caldwell Pope scored a goal by seven points.
“The job isn’t over,” James said.
Not yet. But they are on the edge of an abyss.
Lakers: Dwight Howard almost ran into NBA Commissioner Adam Silver as he led the Lakers out of the locker room for pre-match training. … the Lakers had 14 to 39 on 3-pointers, which made them 59 to 166 in the series. Prior to this year, the Lakers set a record of 3 seconds in the World Cup Finals of 43 and 125 attempts – both of which were surpassed this year in the first three matches.
The Heat: Point keeper Goran Drai (left plantar fascia rupture) underwent a training session on the field before the match in the hope that he would be able to play for the first time since the first half of match 1, but was ruled out again shortly thereafter. … Robinson’s first three indicators on Tuesday were his 50th qualifiers, which means he and Jay Crowder are the first duos in Hit history with 50 runs after the third season. They are the fourth teammates in NBA history to achieve this feat.
This is the 36th time that a team has advanced 3-1 in the NBA Finals. Of the 35 former teams, the top-ranked team went on to win the title 34 times – James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 became an exception when they won three games in a row to defeat the Golden State.
In the case of the 3–1 finals, the series ended in five matches 51.4% of the time (18 cases), in six matches 40% of the time (14 cases) and in seven matches 8.6% of the time (three cases).
The Lakers led 49-47 in the first half. It was only the third time in their last 26 NBA Finals that neither team had reached 50 points in the first 24 minutes. Tuesday’s match was the 1140th game played this season and it was the 35th time the two teams had scored 49 points or less by the break, which is up 3.1% of the time.
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