LeBron James is now just one win away from capturing his fourth NBA Championship. Photo by @TheNBACentral (Twitter).
- The Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers play Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Friday (Oct. 9, 9:00 pm EST)
- Los Angeles took Game 4 102-96 and lead the best-of-7 series 3-1
- See below for a betting preview and prediction for Game 5
It wasn’t pretty, but the Los Angeles Lakers are now just a win away from their 17th NBA Championship. LA rebounded from an ugly Game 3 performance to take Game 4 from the Miami Heat 102-96, and now have a commanding 3-1 series lead.
One more win for the Lakers.
Job’s not finished. pic.twitter.com/idc63dcM8K
— ESPN (@espn) October 7, 2020
Game 5 goes Friday, October 9th at 9:00 pm EST, and once again the Lakers are heavy favorites.
Heat vs Lakers Game 5 Odds
|Miami Heat||+7.5 (-110)||+260||Over 217.0 (-110)|
|Los Angeles Lakers||-7.5 (-110)||-320||Under 217.0 (-110)|
Odds taken from FanDuel on Oct. 6th.
Los Angeles opened up as a 7.5-point favorite in the Heat vs Lakers odds, despite failing to cover in three straight NBA Finals games. LA was on track cover the 7.5-point spread in Game 4, but a meaningless Tyler Herro 3 with 1.1 seconds remaining put an end to that.
2020 NBA Championship Odds Tracker
Kings of the Bounce Back
The Lakers have had one slip-up in every playoff series so far, but have rebounded to win each of the first three rounds in five games. They’re now 4-0 in the postseason after a loss, winning by an average of 10.7 points in those bounce back outings.
“I’ma continue to not sleep until the job is done.”
—LeBron and the Lakers are focused on getting one last win. pic.twitter.com/Vk8V57Eukh
— ESPN (@espn) October 7, 2020
LeBron James led the way with a game-high 28 points, out duelling Jimmy Butler a game after Jimmy Buckets became the first player ever to have more points, rebounds and assists than James in a Finals contest.
Anthony Davis chipped in 22 points and 9 rebounds, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored two huge buckets down the stretch to help put the game on ice.
LeBron James led the @Lakers with 28 points and 12 rebounds but the hero of the game was KCP scoring 15 points and 5 assists!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) October 7, 2020
The Lakers were 14-for-39 from beyond the arc in Game 4 and racked up seven more assists and three more offensive rebounds en route to victory.
Miami now faces a near impossible task of overcoming a 3-1 series deficit. This is 36th time in NBA Finals history a team has fallen behind 3-1, and only one squad has rallied back to raise the trophy. That of course was the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers, who just happened to be led James.
Only one team has come back from a 3-1 series deficit in the NBA Finals pic.twitter.com/uQevEGzShm
— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) October 7, 2020
Per ESPN, in the 36 previous 3-1 NBA Finals situations, the series has ended in Game 5 51.4% of the time. If the Heat are going to live to fight another day, they’ll need more from Butler and Bam Adebayo. Jimmy Buckets put up 22 points, but was shutout from 3 and was a -11. Adebayo chipped in 15 points after missing Games 2 and 3, but wasn’t his usual dominant self on the glass.
Starting point guard Goran Dragic missed his third consecutive game with a foot injury and his status will once again be a huge question mark ahead of Game 5.
Lakers Roll, Under Cashes
Los Angeles is by far the superior team in this series and the fact is amplified without Dragic. His absence forces Herro to start, leaving Miami without a heat check option off the bench. Minus Dragic, the Heat’s offensive ceiling is limited which is a big reason to like the under in Game 5.
Three of the first four NBA Finals games have stayed under the total, and both of these teams play too well defensively for a scoring bonanza to occur.
LeBron James has 500 points this postseason.
It’s the 6th time he’s had 500 points, 150 rebounds & 150 assists in a single postseason.
The only other player in NBA history to accomplish this feat was Larry Bird in 1987. pic.twitter.com/Q9tt6pj3Yc
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 7, 2020
As for the outcome of the series, oddsmakers certainly expect the Lakers to win Game 5, as LA’s odds to win the series 4-1 is -340, compared to +370 to win in six games.
LeBron James is now just one win away from his fourth ring, and we should expect him and the Lakers to be crowned champions on Friday in a low scoring affair.
Pick: Under 217 (-110)
Chris began his career at Hockey Night in Canada over 15 years ago. He has since worked at TSN for over 12 years as a writer, line-up producer, field producer, newsroom supervisor for Sportscentre, and presently as a promotions producer.