Lakers beat the Heat to claim record-tying 17th NBA title

The Lakers' victory tied the side with the Boston Celtics for most NBA championships and capped an unprecedented season that resumed in July after a four-month hiatus.

Los Angeles Lakers player celebrate with the NBA trophy after beating Miami Heat in 4-2 in the NBA Finals.   -  TWITTER/NBAINDIA

The Los Angeles Lakers captured a record-tying 17th NBA Championship on Sunday with a 106-93 victory over the Miami Heat that sealed the best-of-seven title series 4-2, restoring the storied franchise to the top of the basketball world.

The Lakers' victory tied itself with the Boston Celtics for most NBA championships and capped an unprecedented season that resumed in July at a spectator-free campus at Disney World in Florida after a four-month COVID-19 shutdown.

Finals MVP LeBron James led the way for the Lakers, scoring 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists while spearheading a defensive masterclass that doused the Heat's offense.

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The Lakers, which won its irst title since 2010, also got a key contribution from Rajon Rondo as the veteran point guard delivered an early offensive burst that helped them to a 28-point halftime lead and the Heat never threatened again.

“It means a lot to represent this franchise,” said James, who joined the team in the summer of 2018 after they had missed the playoffs five seasons in a row.

“I told (Lakers president) Jeanie (Buss) when I came here that I was going to put this franchise back in the position where it belongs.

 

“We just want our respect. Rob (Pelinka) wants his respect, coach (Frank) Vogel wants his respect, our organization wants its respect, Lakers nation wants its respect,” he said.

“And I want my damn respect too.”

The championship win ends a more than 90-day stay for the Lakers inside the NBA's bio-secure bubble.

It also marked the end of an emotional season for the franchise after Lakers great Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others near Los Angeles in January.

 

Racial justice issues were front and center since the NBA restarted, with players wearing slogans like “Vote” and “Education Reform.”

The death of George Floyd, a Black man, in police custody in Minneapolis in May, sparked nationwide protests and renewed calls for reform among players and the public.

“We all want to see better days and when we leave here, we have to continue to push that,” James said.

“Continue to push against social injustice, continue to push against voter suppression, continue to push against police brutality, continue to push against everything that is the opposite of love.

“If we continue to do that - all of us - America will be a much better place.

“We all love this country.”

-Road to the 2020 NBA championship-

The Los Angeles Lakers' path through four best-of-seven playoff rounds en route to capturing the NBA championship.

First round: Beat Portland Trail Blazers 4-1

Game 1 - Portland 100, Los Angeles 93

Game 2 - Los Angeles 111, Portland 88

Game 3 - Los Angeles 116, Portland 108

Game 4 - Los Angeles 135, Portland 115

Game 5 - Los Angeles 131, Portland 122

 

Second Round: Beat Houston Rockets 4-1

Game 1 - Houston 112, Los Angeles 97

Game 2 - Los Angeles 117, Houston 109

Game 3 - Los Angeles 112, Houston 102

Game 4 - Los Angeles 110, Houston 100

Game 5 - Los Angeles 119, Houston 96

 

Third Round: Beat Denver Nuggets 4-1

Game 1 - Los Angeles 126, Denver 114

Game 2 - Los Angeles 105, Denver 103

Game 3 - Denver 114, Los Angeles 106

Game 4 - Los Angeles 114, Denver 108

Game 5 - Los Angeles 117, Denver 107

 

NBA Finals: Beat Miami Heat 4-2

Game 1 - Los Angeles 116, Miami 98

Game 2 - Los Angeles 124, Miami 114

Game 3 - Miami 115, Los Angeles 104

Game 4 - Los Angeles 102, Miami 96

Game 5 - Miami 111, Los Angeles 108

Game 6 - Los Angeles 106, Miami 93

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