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The Los Angeles Lakers were finally able to stamp down on the persistent Miami Heat, 106-93, to close out the 2019-20 NBA Championship in Game 6 on Sunday, October 11 inside the NBA bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
(Photo : Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
The Los Angeles Lakers were finally able to stamp down on the persistent Miami Heat, 106-93, to close out the 2019-20 NBA Championship in Game 6 on Sunday, October 11, inside the NBA bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
With the win, the Lakers picked up its 17th NBA title, and the most unique so far, after a decade. They tied Boston Celtics for the most number of titles in the league.
Interestingly, the Celtics last won the NBA title in 2008 over the Lakers, which was then led by the late Kobe Bryant, who won his one and only NBA MVP award. He was, however, named NBA Finals MVP twice.
The last time that the Lakers had hoisted the Larry O’Brien Trophy was in 2010 when they defeated Boston, with Bryant winning one of his Finals MVP.
Bryant’s death last January also played a role in the Lakers’ campaign for this season, which was lengthened by the COVID-19 pandemic. They donned special “Black Mamba” uniforms for the playoffs.
According to Vogel, they had always felt like Kobe Bryant was with them, and never more than at that moment, ESPN reported.
The 2019-20 NBA championship was also packed with history with the Lakers becoming the first team in the NBA history to go unbeaten after having taken the lead in the fourth quarter.
The Lakers were also the first team to become the top seed immediately after a five-year postseason absence.
After failing to close out the NBA Finals series in Game 5, the Lakers made sure to secure the title this time with LeBron James finishing with a triple-double of 28 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists.
They were finally able to put a lead on Heat’s Jimmy Butler, who twice engineered their impediment en route to the most coveted title. Butler was only able to manage 12 points.
James also won his fourth NBA ring and third championship with three different teams.
Anthony Davis chipped in 19 points and pulled down 15 boards.
Following the frustrating loss in Game 5, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel opted to open Game 6 with a smaller and shiftier group by moving Davis up to the first 5 and replacing Dwight Howard with Alex Caruso.
The change worked as the Lakers enjoyed an 8-point lead, 28-20, in just the first quarter which they padded to as much as 30 in the first half. The Lakers scored 36 points to the Heat’s 16 in the second quarter.
They ended the first half with a 28-point lead, the second largest in the history of NBA Finals.
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