Lakers beat Heat in six games, win 2020 NBA championship

LA Times: “Through the darkness and drama, the questions about whether the Lakers’ luster was gone forever, remained the hope that a day like this would happen again. A championship. Confetti sprayed all over the court. A superstar puffing a cigar, grinning at what he’d done. On Sunday evening, the Lakers became champions for the 17th time with a 106-93 win over the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. This time they did it in a gym shaped like Mickey Mouse with two superstars who came to resuscitate the franchise. Anthony Davis came because of LeBron James.”

OC Register: “James led Sunday’s attentive attack, with a full-steam-ahead triple-double: a team-high 28 points and 10 assists to go with 14 rebounds. The multi-talented 35-year-old was named Finals MVP, becoming the first player to earn the honor with three teams, having previously done it in 2012 and 2013 with the Heat and in 2016 with Cleveland. And in his 260th playoff game, James surpassed former Laker Derek Fisher for most postseason contests played in NBA history. He also improved his personal Finals record to 4-6, as one of only four players to appear in 10 or more NBA Finals series, along with Bill Russell, Sam Jones and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.”

OC Register: And so in the most unpredictable, most emotionally taxing and most endurance-testing season any basketball team has ever played, the Lakers came out on top, 106-93, rolling over the Heat in the sixth game of the series with a thudding sense of finality to their 16-5 postseason run. There will be no historical arguments: The Lakers were the best team, and it was in the refrigerator by halftime, when they led by 28 points. It was the 17th championship in franchise history for an organization that grew used to winning, but slogged through a decade without a Finals appearance and six of those without even making the playoffs. James (28 points), in his 17th season, captained the effort for his fourth Finals MVP award – an honor he’s received along with every title he’s ever won at previous stints in Miami and Cleveland. But his fourth championship is one of his most defining: He became one of just four men in NBA history to win titles with three different franchises (teammate Danny Green also joined this club) and the only one of the quartet to be a foundational player on each of those teams.

OC Register: “Wherever Danny Green goes, championships seem to follow. “Been very lucky,” he said Sunday after the Lakers clinched the 2020 NBA title by beating the Miami Heat 106-93 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals – a feat that qualified Green and LeBron James among just four players who have won titles with three franchises. The other two members of the club: Robert Horry and John Salley. James’ previous titles came in 2012 and 2013 with the Heat and in 2016 with the Cleveland Cavaliers.”

OC Register: “Miami suffered the aftereffects of Erik Spoelstra’s decision to use only seven players in Game 5. They were shanking layups from the beginning. The Lakers’ venom came out when they saw Miami’s fatigue. They outscored Miami 14-0 in the paint in the first half, outscored Miami 14-0 on fast breaks, and held the Heat to 34.2 percent shooting. Miami’s offense was reduced to contortion. It was an awkward 22 for 42 in the paint. The Lakers eliminated all the comfortable catch-and-shoots, too. In the end, the Heat players looked like they were playing against Dad. Vogel set up the blowout with a move that can only come from a coach who is trusted. He started Caruso and benched center Dwight Howard. That allowed the Lakers to chase the shooters outside, to better handle pick-and-rolls, and to let Davis spread his wings at the rim.”

OC Register: “Bryant and his family were never far from the Lakers’ hearts and minds. “One, two, three Mamba,” they would chant, referring to his Black Mamba nickname, after putting their hands together before heading onto the court to start every game, every quarter, every half and after every timeout. “We didn’t let him down, we didn’t let him down,” center Anthony Davis said. “Ever since the tragedy, all we wanted to do was do it for him. We didn’t let him down. It would have been great to do it last game in his jerseys. But it made us come out more aggressive, more powerful on both ends of the floor to make sure we closed it out (Sunday). I know he’s looking down on us, proud of us. I know Vanessa (Bryant’s wife) is proud of us, the organization is proud of us. “It means a lot to us. He was a big brother to all of us. We did this for him.””

LA Times: “Lonzo Ball. Brandon Ingram. Josh Hart. The No. 4 pick. First-round picks that stretch into the middle of the decade. The Lakers traded a lot — some would say their future — for Anthony Davis. But the deal that netted them a championship, the franchise’s 17th, wasn’t a trade for the present. It was a deal for the future — the next great Laker celebrating a championship. Davis isn’t leaving. The way he’s played in his first season in purple and gold, it’s obvious he’s just getting started. He’s been the perfect partner for LeBron James and it’s hard to imagine a better situation.”

Sun Sentinel: “James closed with a triple-double Sunday, with 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists, supported by 19 points and 15 rebounds from Davis. For the Heat, there were 25 points and 10 rebounds from Adebayo, as well as 12 points, eight assists and seven rebounds from Butler. Ultimately, the bubble burst Sunday for the Heat as the champagne flowed for the Lakers, a forgettable Heat night that followed an unforgettable season. “I told Coach Pat, I told Coach Spo I’m here to win one,” Butler said. “I didn’t do my job, so moving forward, I got to hold up my end of the bargain.”

Author: Inside Hoops has been a world leader in NBA basketball coverage for over 20 years. Read our blog, but also be sure to read our main website on