LeBron savors ‘winning time’ after Lakers victory
The Los Angeles Lakers maintained their remarkable fourth quarter winning streak as they secured the game four victory over Miami on Tuesday that left them on the brink of a 17th NBA crown.
The Lakers took a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series after holding off a physical Miami side in a hard-fought contest to close out a 102-06 win in Orlando.
The result extended the Lakers’ record of remaining unbeaten this season whenever they have led going into the fourth quarter. The team is 56-0 when taking a lead into the fourth.
“I think the fourth quarter, obviously it’s winning time,” Lakers star LeBron James said afterwards.
“You’ve got 12 minutes to buckle down defensively with the lead, kind of hold that lead, and then you have to execute offensively.
“That’s the mindset for us. We’ve got 12 minutes. If we have the lead, it’s our job to outscore the opponent or to hold them to (as many) points as us, which is the same exact thing, because if we win the quarter, we win the game. That’s kind of been our mindset all year long.”
James, who will win a fourth championship ring if the Lakers win one of the remaining three games in the series, is already looking forward to game five.
“I get so excited — like right now, I’m excited about our meeting tomorrow watching film and breaking that down and seeing things that we can do better,” James told reporters.
“Seeing things that we did do well. Thinking about the adjustments that they possibly or will do … that’s the best part about it. It’s a chess match.”
While James led the scoring for the Lakers, the team’s win came off of a Herculean defensive effort from Anthony Davis, who shut down Miami danger man Jimmy Butler.
“Jimmy is so great, it’s hard to even slow him down but AD did a great job,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said.
“It starts there but you have to credit our guys’ competitive spirit. They were flying around and just competing at an extremely high level that end of the floor.”
Vogel said he had not needed to motivate Davis after a disappointing outing in Sunday’s game three defeat.
“You don’t have to say anything to Anthony Davis,” Vogel said.
“He wants this more than anything. Obviously he’s a great player capable of imposing his will on the game on both ends of the floor.”