NBA Finals: Lakers on verge of securing 17th championship after Game 4 win

After a lethargic loss in Game 3, the Lakers showed their composure to bounce back and seal victory with a stellar second-half performance.

James led all scorers with 28 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.

His teammate Anthony Davis added 22 points, nine rebounds, four assists and four blocks.

Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro finished 22 and 21 points, respectively, to lead the Heat.

Despite not producing one of his more prolific performances, James rated it as one of his best ever.

“I felt that vibe. I felt that pressure,” James said after the game. “I felt like, for me personally, this was one of the biggest games of my career.”

Tuesday’s win gives the Lakers a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, and brings them to the brink of a historic 17th championship — the Lakers can close out the series if they win Game 5 on Friday.

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A tightly fought first-half finished 49-47 to the Lakers.

LA came alive after the interval, with James scoring 20 of his 28 points in the second half.

Miami fought hard to fightback and level it at 83-83 with six minutes to play, but the Lakers pulled away again and didn’t give up the lead.

With 40 seconds to play, Davis threw up a three pointer, beating his chest as it took the Lakers to an unassailable lead of 100-91.

James later said it was a “big-time play. [A] big-time moment.”

Taking nothing for granted

Despite his team being only one game away from a championship, James is not taking the Lakers’ position for granted, and knows the danger the Heat still pose.

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The Lakers are 3-1 up but the Golden State Warriors were in the exact same position in 2016 and James’ Cleveland Cavaliers came back to win the series and 2016 NBA Championship 4-3.

“I just wanted to relay that message to my teammates, the type of zone I was in, the type of moment it was,” James said after the game. “Because I just know how great of a team we are playing against.

“And after the Game 3 [Miami Heat] win, the confidence that they had — that they still have — even after tonight’s loss. They are just a gritty, so-damn-well-coached team.

“And I feel like, if we want to be a championship ball club, if we really want to be a championship team, we’ve got to have that same grit and that same attitude.”

Miami’s top scorer Butler said after the game: “Like I always say, they’re a really, really, really good team and we’ve got to play damn near perfect to beat them. We didn’t do that tonight.

“We’ll watch this, learn from it, but we can’t lose another one.”

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