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Last Night In The NBA: The Lakers Came Up Huge In The Clutch And The Miami Heat Need A Miracle

Kevin C. Cox. Getty Images.

Good morning everybody happy Wednesday and welcome back to another edition of Last Night In The NBA where we bring you up to speed on everything that went down from the night before in the Association. You feel pretty damn good today if you're a Lakers fan I imagine, waking up just 1 win away from an NBA title is a great feeling. Tuesday night was a swing game for sure, and boy did it live up to the hype. People love to talk about how nobody is watching these Finals, well they are missing a pretty entertaining series. Games 2-4 have all been wildly entertaining and last night was full of high drama and big pressure moments. If you are weird and watched the MLB playoffs instead or something and missed the action just keep reading because here's what happened.

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Los Angeles Lakers (3-1) 102 vs Miami Heat (1-3) 96

With Bam Adebayo back in the lineup, I was very interested to see how a somewhat healthy Heat team would respond. Goran Dragic tried to give it a go pregame but ultimately couldn't lace em up and you could tell how much it was killing him

I cannot stress how huge of a loss this is for the Heat, and we saw exactly why in this ever important Game 4. The one thing you have to give the Heat credit for is they've fought tooth and nail in every game since getting their shit kicked in during Game 1, and last night was no different. They hung with the Lakers basically until the final 3 minutes of this game and had every opportunity to even this series up. Bam actually wasn't all that bad in his return, finishing with 15/7 on 6-8 shooting

Jimmy Butler was still really fucking good, but he wasn't historically good and that was kind of the difference. You knew repeating what he did in Game 3 was going to be tough, and his 22/10/8 on 8-17 is nothing to sneeze at

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but unfortunately they needed him to have a supernova type performance. That's the thing. The Heat can't just be "good", they have to be perfect. That's really hard to do multiple times in a series. There is no winning while playing like shit, something the Lakers can afford to do. Especially without a huge piece of their puzzle in Dragic. That matters because what it forced MIA to do was play Kendrick Nunn, who had flashes during the year but is a rookie who proved that maybe this moment is too big for him. A brutal 2-11 for him off the bench, poor decisions offensively down the stretch were costly, and you have to imagine if that was Goran Dragic getting those minutes instead, how would things be different?

But that's life. That's the reality of the NBA Finals. Injuries happen. Despite who was out, the Heat were still in a position to win this game. One of the biggest parts of their success this postseason has been how they perform in the clutch. They've been the best in the bubble in clutch time minutes. Well, last night they posted an Ortg of 75 and a Drtg of 150 in the clutch to finish this game. That's brutal. The closing minutes is where this game was decided

and things really came down to a handful of plays. A missed Butler corner three followed by a KCP make. KCP then blowing by his defender for an easy layup 2 minutes left. The Heat unable to get a goddamn defensive rebound on what were multiple terrible Lakers possessions, all of which ended up in points. Someone kept forgetting to box out Rajon Rondo and those are the little things you cannot do when you need to be perfect to win. That would be the frustrating part as a Heat fan. You were right there. Shit, even Herro and Robinson started to make their threes again, they just couldn't execute well down the stretch which is a rare sight for this Heat team. That's been where they've flourished all postseason. Pretty shitty time to all of the sudden not be able to come through. Now they need a miracle. It's not "over", but this is by far the highest 3-1 mountain any team will try and overcome this postseason. No other team had LeBron and AD. 

For LAL, it may have been ugly, but a win is a goddamn win and they are now one win away from the Finals. Both LeBron/AD started the first half slow, finishing with just 16 combined points. They finished the game with a combined 50.

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28/12/8 for LeBron on 50% shooting and 22/9/4 on 50% shooting for AD. They eventually figured things out, and both were monsters in the fourth. A complete opposite performance from what we saw in the fourth quarter of Game 3. 

But is it weird to say that these two aren't the only reason why I think the Lakers won? To me, the difference in this game was the production of the "others'". Most notably Danny Green and KCP

It was KCP's huge buckets that pretty much sealed things

and once again it was the Lakers who won the three point shooting battle 14-11. They've somehow been the better three point shooting team this entire series. Nobody, and I mean nobody saw that coming. The Lakers bench outscored the Heat's 27-13. In a game the Lakers needed to have to regain momentum, they had one of the best supporting cast performances of the series. That's what you need to win a title. It's not always about your two best players, but who gets the most out of the "others" in high pressure moments. There's no denying that the guys wearing yellow came through. You have to give them credit.

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When it came time to close the door, Anthony Davis entered the chat. What a two way monster that dude is. It's almost like a cheat code or some shit. Knocking down huge threes, defending Jimmy Butler with ease, what a weapon. He probably won't win the MVP, but AD has been perhaps the most valuable piece to this puzzle for the Lakers. LeBron's numbers are better, he's basically averaging a triple double on over 50% shooting, but shit has AD been incredible in his first ever Finals.

With two days off, they'll have a chance to seal the deal on Friday night. You know the Heat will go down swinging and who knows, maybe this thing will be extended a game or two. 

And that's it! You are now all caught up with everything that went down last night in the NBA. Have a great Wednesday!