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Lakers vs Heat
Photo Credit: CBS Sports

Game Preview: Lakers vs Heat – NBA Finals – Game 4

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Los Angeles Lakers (14-4)  |  Miami Heat (13-5)

 

After losing in Game 3, the Lakers will look to get back on track in Game 4.

 

Despite not having Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic, the Miami Heat still found a way to win Game 3 and make it a series with their 115-104 victory on Sunday.

 

Photo Credit: Lakers Nation

Jimmy Butler played arguably the best game of his career with a triple-double of 40 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists. He played like a man possessed who would not take no for an answer every time he went strong to the hoop, going 14-20 (70%) from the floor.

Although Butler was the star of the game, he did not do it alone as his Miami teammates stepped up in big ways.

The rookie out of Kentucky, Tyler Herro, scored 17 points on 6-18 (33%) shooting, with most of his points coming in the fourth quarter.

Duncan Robinson scored 13 points, along with grabbing five rebounds. Jae Crowder continued to show why he is an underrated two-way player with 12 points, eight rebounds, and credit for slowing down LeBron James.

Perhaps no one stepped up more for the Heat than Kelly Olynyk, who came off the bench to score 17 points on 5-9 (55%) shooting from the field. He also managed to grab seven rebounds and slow down Anthony Davis. Olynyk has risen to the occasion in this series for Miami after not getting too many minutes in the Eastern Conference Finals and with the injuries to Adebayo and Dragic.

In a series that has been pretty much dominated by the Los Angeles Lakers so far, this was the game that they would look back on and say that it was just not their day. For starters, Davis found himself in foul trouble early, which caused him to barely play in the second quarter and not see any rhythm throughout the game. He finished the game with 15 points, going 6-9 (66%) from the floor. His low amount of rebounding continued with only five rebounds, and he finished with four fouls and five turnovers.

James led the Lakers in scoring with another near triple-double performance of 25 points, ten rebounds, and eight assists. At times James looked like his usual self going 9-16 (56.2%) from the field, but there were also moments when he seemed out of rhythm as well, committing a disappointing ten turnovers.

In the first quarter alone, Los Angeles already had ten turnovers, most of them coming from their two superstar players. By the end of the game, the team had committed 20 turnovers to Miami’s 13, which could have been the difference-maker.

The only other scoring help the Lakers got was from two bench players, Markieff Morris and Kyle Kuzma. Morris stepped up to make more three-pointers than anyone else in the game to have 19 points (6-13, 46.1% FG; 5-11, 45% 3PT). Kuzma, in arguably his best game of these playoffs, also scoring 19 points on 6-13 (46.1%) shooting from the floor and 4-8 (50%) from three.

 

 

Kuzma has been a controversial topic throughout the season for Lakers Nation, but his name has risen up again a lot recently.

 

 

Lakers vs Heat
Photo Credit: Silver Screen and Roll

Just a few days ago, Lakers fans made a petition for Kuzma not to deserve and receive a championship ring if Los Angeles goes on to win the NBA Finals.

He followed that up with his best performance in this series so far and stepping up when Davis was in foul trouble. In the postgame press conference, Kuzma said this when asked about the lack of support from the fans, “I really honestly don’t care. I mean you can either love or hate someone, it doesn’t matter. I mean, y’all seen I dyed my hair blonde this year, like I don’t give a f***. I don’t care. I mean, Twitter is for jokes. I laugh at jokes too, so it really doesn’t affect me at all.”

On this matter, I personally don’t understand why he has been criticized so heavily all season. Kuzma has been the team’s third-leading scorer all season long. That is honestly pretty impressive, considering that he is only behind Davis and James.

I know that sometimes he makes mistakes, but so does everyone (James and Davis had 18 combined turnovers). He was a light of hope the past two seasons that management chose to stick around for this new era, and he has been an impressive piece in a smaller role that seems to be pretty consistent when the Lakers need some additional scoring. The fans that made and signed that petition should not be allowed to celebrate this championship if they do win it all.

 

 

Despite taking the loss, the Lake Show is still up 2-1 in the series and will look to take a commanding 3-1 lead in Game 4 on tonight.

 

 

Lakers vs Heat
Photo Credit: DraftKings Nation

It will be a new game where Davis will not have to worry about foul trouble, and the rest of the team can learn from their mistakes. Frank Vogel and staff will have figure out what changes need to be made when the Heat decide to switch zone to man in the middle of games.

For Miami, it remains to be seen if Adebayo or Dragic will be able to play as they have not played since Game 1.

 

 

 

The Lakers tip-off against the Heat in Game 4 on Tuesday at 6 pm PT. You can watch the game on ABC.

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-Isaiah Torres – Franchise Sports Media

Twitter- Isaiah_Torres24

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