Well, no matter how long the series last, we’ll be here covering it at the Guardian. Thanks to everybody who followed along with today’s liveblog, especially everybody who contributed. Ciao!
James is the player of the game and he gives a rather matter-of-fact interview with Rachel Nichols.
LeBron James makes two free throws. Herro boosts his stats by hitting a meaningless three and it’s all over. The Lakers are now a game away from winning the 2020 NBA championship.
Butler with a dunk. So it’s just seven points. The Heat get a break when Davis throws the ball out of bounds but he gets a block on the other end to make sure that it doesn’t matter. The Lakers are getting ready to dance the night away.
The Miami Heat take a timeout but unless they have a “score nine points in two possessions” play on them, I can’t really see how they’ll pull a win off here.
And what a time for Rondo to make his first basket of the game! It’s a six point lead! That might be enough but they decide that they want more. Davis hits a three-pointer and it’s a nine point lead with less than 40 seconds left!
It remains a shot clock violation. In any case, Robinson misses the three on the other end but Butler gets the rebound and Crowder hits a three-pointer to cut the lead to four.
It’s Heat ball and, man, they almost get a ridiculous shot out of Adebayo but it’s ruled as a shot-clock violation. On the other end, Caldwell-Pope hits a layup but…
Wait, now they’re reviewing that Adebayo shot? After Caldwell-Pope has scored? This is awkward.
Jimmy Butler with a corner three to potentially give Miami the lead but it rims out which means, of course that the Lakers hit a three on their end. It’s Caldwell-Pope, of course, and it might be the biggest basket of the game. Lakers with a timeout.
Herro draws a foul resulting in the first Heat free throws of the quarter. He makes of one of two and it’s just a two-point Lakers lead.
Herro continues to come up big under pressure. He hits a floater to reduce the Lakers lead down to three-points. The Heat take a timeout. Could we be seeing overtime today?
Bam Adebayo with a layup. It’s a one-possession game. The Lakers keep getting second-chance opportunities and that’s absolutely key. The Heat are getting frustrated. The result: James gets fouled again and gets to the line again where he’s perfect yet again.
Heat called for a travel and that’s a turnover. On the Lakers side of things, James misses his attempt but Rondo’s right there to keep the possession alive which turns out to be big because LeBron gets fouled and gets to the line. I just automatically add the two points to the Lakers’ total before he’s even attempted the second.
Jimmy Butler ties the game with a layup, to the visible annoyance of LeBron James who scores on the other end AND picks up a foul from Crowder. Of course he makes the free throw.
Good news: Davis is staying in the game. Better news: to prove it he dunks a KCP pass.
Wow, Duncan Robinson with a long three. This might be going down to the wire here.
Morris misses for the Lakers and Herro tries a three-pointer again. This one is good but Anthony Davis is down and in pain. The medical staff goes to check on him as the Lakers take an injury timeout.
Lakers defense is absolutely stifling out of the Heat timeout. They force a tough three from Herro that’s absolutely hopeless.
LeBron James hits just an entirely impossible shot while being absolutely attacked by this tenacious Heat defense. They did everything they could but it was no use. The Lakers lead is six points and Miami calls a timeout.
It’s taken a little over three quarters but Herro connects on a three. That could be good news for Miami if he’s heating up.
The bad news for the Heat? Olynyk gets called for a foul while Morris was trying to get off a three. That means three free throws for Los Angeles. Morris makes all three.
Jimmy Butler starts the scoring in the fourth. On the other end, Kuzma gets fouled and goes to the line, the Lakers are starting to even out the foul disparity here and that could be the ballgame. Kuzma makes one of two.
It’s Erik Spoelstra’s time for the in-game interview. Not really the ideal time considering the massive mental mistake we all just witnessed.
Iguodala fouls Davis who, rather shockingly, gets to the line for the first time all game. He makes both. He makes his second trip soon after, however, because with 4.6 left in the quarter, Adebayo picks up a loose ball foul that puts Davis on the line. Absolutely inexcusable since Miami had time for the last shot. Instead Davis makes two free throws to extend the lead and Butler’s last second prayer goes unanswered on the other end. Lakers are up five heading into the fourth quarter.
Now it’s Robinson on the line, he makes his. Davis can’t find the rim with his shot and there’s a struggle for the ball. Miami I up with it! Olynyk with a layup! It’s a one-point game!
Anthony Davis with a crucial three pointer. That’s a seven-point Laker lead and this could be point in the game where the Lakers takeover. The Balance of the game feels like it’s at stake.
Kuzma fouls Olynyk however and he makes both of his free throws, those are what’s helping Miami stick around this game.
Kuzma attunes for his mistake and then some on the Lakers’ next possession hitting a three pointer to extend the Lakers lead.
The official say that James’s basket was after the foul and doesn’t count. Big break for the Heat because on the next play Butler steals a lazy Kuzma pass and goes runnin’ with the devil to the other side of the court where James fouls him to make him earn his two points on the line.
Because this is Butler, he does.
Butler attempts a fadeway that just barely hits the rim and LeBron James gets the rebound. On the other end Davis makes a basket. Nunn misses a three, can’t really think that’s the optimum play there guys. LeBron James gets fouled by Adebayo, but the officials are gathering to see whether it was before or after LeBron started his shooting motion.
Jae Crowder’s on the line after picking up a foul from Morris. He hits both of his attempts and it’s only a one point Lakers lead. It’s been a back-and-forth affair here from the get go.
The Heat are hanging in here though. Robinson makes a three-pointer to make it a single possession game. The Lakers wisely call for a timeout of their own here.
Crowder hits a three to take it down to a single possession lead but, welp, James has found his zone and he makes a three-pointer as well. James gets an additional free throw after being fouled and the Lakers lead is five points.
The Heat have absolutely out-played the Lakers, but they are down and they are starting to teeter now that LeBron is finding himself. Sometimes that’s all it takes: The Lakers look like they’ve been unchained.
There is the kind of big shot the Lakers needed from LeBron James. He makes a sweet three-pointer and then gets the ball to Green for a dunk. After another LeBron James three, the Lakers have put together a six point lead and Miami has to take a timeout.
That was fast.
Morris hits a three-pointer, that’s the first Lakers points of the half. James then picks up a foul that puts Adebayo on the free throw line. The Heat are getting FT opportunities and, this is key, they’re cashing them in. Adebayo goes 2-for-2 here.
Butler goes back to the line, that’s a foul on Anthony Davis, but the Lakers catch a break when he actually misses one. Herro then manages to hit a semi-contested floater.
Second half begins!
And Adebayo looks pretty good. He hits a jumper to tie the game. Nice start to the second half for the Heat.
Meanwhile on the Heat, Jimmy Butler is once again the man. It’s not quite a Top Jimmy performance like we saw back on Sunday, but still it’s 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting. He’s made all three of his freethrows and he’s made two assists and gathered two rebounds.
Okay, there’s the bad news for the Lakers: LeBron remains 3-for-8 and has 5 turnovers to go with his 8 points. I’m going to take a wild guess and say that this statline will look a lot prettier by the end of the fourth.
If I told you that Caldwell-Pope would be the Lakers’ top scorer after the first half of Game 3, you’d probably think they were in trouble, but it’s not the case. The Lakers are up two at the half partly because he’s been on fire. He’s scored 10 points on 4-for-8 shooting. Good for him, as he’s lived his life as the Lakers fans scapegoat for much of this season.
Still, the Heat have to like where they are. The Lakers still look rattle and this might as well be tied. This is a very winnable game for them. They just have finish what they started.
Now, Jimmy Butler picks up his first foul in the game, which is pretty incredible, all things considered. Rondo misses on the other end, but Iguodala now gets charged with a foul. James misses another shot, he’s now 3-for-8 but the Lakers still have a lead.
Herro’s three doesn’t go in. Caruso, however, hits one. Crowder shoots and misses but Herro cleans it up for him, getting the rebound and making a jumper that cuts the Lakers lead down to two-points at the half.
James gets called for a foul and starts in on the refs. What are they discussing exactly? I don’t know but they ain’t talking about love, that’s for sure.
Well, it works. Frank Vogel challenges it and he gets it overturned. The Lakers will keep their timeout.
Danny Green with a three to put them up two, but Herro goes to the line with a chance to tie it… but he doesn’t, he only makes one of his free throws.
Ooh a nice sequence here from Rajon Rondo. He gets another assist, this time for a pass that leads to a Davis dunk and then he snatches the ball away from Adebayo and gets in Danny Green’s hands for a smooth layup.
Kendrick Nunn, however, hits a three-pointer and after all that work it’s a one point Heat lead.
Butler with an attempted stepback that doesn’t go through. KCP misses on the other side. Back with the Heat now and Butler draws a foul. That’s been one of the major keys to his game here, he gets on the line and he’s pretty reliable when he gets there. He makes two right now.
At least this time, the Heat respond with their own turnover so no harm, no foul. Markieff Morris finds Anthony Davis. Olynyk, one of the sneaky heroes of Game 3, misses his three. Morris? Well he makes a three on the other end. That always seems to happy after a missed three.
It’s a tie game and the Heat take a timeout, one they may have should have taken slightly earlier in my opinion.
The Heat pick up only their second team foul, which gives you some sense of why they’re ahead right now. It’s a loose ball foul on Iguodala. The Lakers can’t cash it in, James picks up yet another turnover.
Possible worry for the Heat: LeBron looks like he’s shaking off his first quarter issues, he dunks on the Heat. Adebayo answers and, well, we’re starting to see why Miami missed him so much in the previous two games.
And then he gets foul, making one of two free throws to extend the Miami lead.
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