The Los Angeles Lakers have beaten Miami Heat 106-93 in game six of their finals series to clinch the NBA title.
- The Los Angeles Lakers are champions of the NBA for the 17th time, defeating the Miami Heat in the finals series
- The Lakers’ victory was their first NBA crown since 2010
- LeBron James was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player for the fourth time in his career
The win sealed a 4-2 NBA Finals victory by the Western Conference champions.
It gave them a 17th NBA title, matching their old rivals the Boston Celtics for the most championships won by a team.
The victory also delivered a fourth NBA crown to Lakers’ superstar LeBron James, who had previously won titles with the Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
James was also named the NBA Finals MVP for the fourth time.
The series-clinching win 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.
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.
The Lakers, who won their first 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 half-time lead.
The first quarter was relatively tight compared with what followed, as the Lakers led 28-20 after the opening term.
But it was the next quarter of play that all but guaranteed there would be no need for game seven.
The Lakers ran riot, outscoring the Heat 36-16 in the second period, even though James only made one scoring shot in that time.
Miami needed a miracle to make a comeback, but the Heat could only narrow the margin to 87-58 at the end of three quarters.
As the Lakers relaxed in the final term, Miami kept trying to exert pressure, but the game only began getting closer when it was all but over.
The Heat dropped some late baskets, but they could not get within 10 points as the celebrations started on the sidelines. Anthony Davis backed up James with 19 points and 15 rebounds, while the Heat was led by centre Bam Adebayo who scored 25 points.
Jimmy Butler, whose brilliant game five kept the series alive for Miami, could not repeat the effort. He finished with 12 points.
The title victory was bittersweet for the Lakers, who had to deal with the emotion following the death of NBA great Kobe Bryant, his daughter and five others in a helicopter crash in January.