It’s Game 4 of the NBA Finals with the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat continuing to battle for the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. The Lakers own a 2-1 advantage over the Heat in the best-of-seven game series.
The tipoff Tuesday night is at 9:00 pm EST at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla. The Lakers are a 7.5-point favorite, according to oddsmakers.
What to Know – Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers handed the Heat a pair of double-digit losses in the opening two games to jump out to a 2-0 advantage in the championship. Turnovers were killer for the Lakers in Game 3, committing 19 throughout the game, which included 10 in the first quarter. Los Angeles has not dropped back-to-back games in the entire postseason.
LeBron James (27.7 ppg) and Anthony Davis (27.0 ppg) continue to be the Lakers’ two-headed monster on the offensive side of the ball. Davis scored 34 in the opening contest and added 32 in Game 2 before being held to just 15 on Sunday. James was the Lakers leading scorer in Game 3, scoring 25 points and snagging 10 rebounds.
Kyle Kuzma and Markiff Morris both came off the bench to add 19 points apiece in the game. Both shot 6-for-13 from the floor and combined for nine rebounds and three assists.
In Game 3, the Lakers shot 43% (34-for-79) from the field and 33.3% (14-for-42) from the three-point line. James and Davis combined for 13 of the team’s 19 turnovers.
What to Know – Miami Heat
Miami dropped the first two games of the series and lost starters Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic in the process. The victory on Sunday showed that even a short-handed Heat squad could play and contend with the Lakers. Adebayo has been listed as questionable after missing the last two contests.
Jimmy Butler has been the team’s leading scorer in all three games of the series, including a 40-point showing on Sunday. Butler filled up the box score with a triple-double, adding 11 rebounds and 13 assists in the victory. The small forward is averaging 29.3 points in the series.
Adding Butler was Tyler Herro and Kelly Olynyk, who each added 17 points apiece for the Heat. Olynyk’s scoring output comes after the power forward scored a season-high 24 points in Game 2.
Miami shot a blistering 51.2% (41-for-80) in Game 3, including 35.3% (12-for-34) from the arc. The Heat missed just two free throws in the game, shooting a slick 91.3-percent (21-for-23) from the stripe.
The Pick is In
If Adebayo can play significant minutes in Game 4, that would be a huge boost for the Heat moving forward. Dragic is doubtful, so the expectations are low to see him anytime soon. Expect the Lakers to have a renewed focus after the loss.
The Lakers should win, but Butler and company will keep it closer than people think. Take the Heat and the points in this one.