The 74th season of the NBA ended on its 356th day with the Lakers’ 106-93 victory over Miami Heat. The triumph gave the Lakers their first title in 10 years and the franchise’s 17th overall to tie the Boston Celtics for the most in NBA history.
Los Angeles’ Game 6 dominance was brought about by tenacious, crushing defense.
The Heat, already hobbled by injuries and overcome with fatigue after a taxing Game 5, had no answer to the Lakers’ five-man fortification, particularly in the paint. This caused the Heat to make bad passes and take hurried perimeter shots which the Lakers converted into transition baskets. Jimmy Butler was effectively contained, only managing 12 points. Goran Dragic played for the first time since exiting Game 1 due to a plantar tear (heel injury), scored only 2 points in six minutes of action.
By the end of the second quarter, the Lakers led by 28 points, the second-largest halftime lead in NBA Finals history. The Lakers pulled out all the stops in the second half to overpower the Heat with speed and control of the boards. The Heat still couldn’t execute their plays as the Lakers poured on the points. Near the end of the third quarter, the Lakers’ lead ballooned to as much as 36 points. James Butler and company never got to within two digits of the Lakers’ lead.
LeBron James led the Lakers with 28 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists. Anthony Davis finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Rajon Rondo made his presence felt by contributing 19 points off the bench.
The championship is LeBron’s fourth in ten Finals appearances. He has won four championships with three different teams — the first player to achieve the feat. The 35-year-old forward was awarded his fourth Bill Russell Trophy for Finals MVP, second only to Michael Jordan’s six. James also has the distinction of having the most triple doubles in NBA Finals history with eleven.