LA Lakers crush Miami Heat to capture 17th NBA title

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The Los Angeles Lakers players celebrate after defeating the Miami Heat 103-88 in Game 6 of basketball's NBA Finals on Sunday in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
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The Los Angeles Lakers players celebrate after defeating the Miami Heat on Sunday in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
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Updated 12 October 2020

LA Lakers crush Miami Heat to capture 17th NBA title

  • For the first time since Kobe Bryant’s fifth and final title a decade ago, the Lakers are NBA champions
  • LeBron James won his 4th title, doing it with a third different franchise

ORLANDO, Florida: The Los Angeles Lakers, fueled by superstar LeBron James’s triple-double, dominated the Miami Heat 106-93 on Sunday to win a record-equalling 17th NBA championship but their first in a decade.
James added another chapter to an epic career, delivering 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists as he captured his fourth NBA title with a third different team as well as earning NBA Finals Most Valuable Player honors for a fourth time.
“It means a lot to represent this franchise,” James said, recalling that he told team owner Jeanie Buss when he arrived in Los Angeles in 2018, “I wanted to put this franchise back where it belongs.
“For me to be a part of such a historical franchise is an unbelievable feeling.”
Anthony Davis, playing in his first title series after years of frustration in New Orleans, added 19 points and 15 rebounds as the Lakers completed a four-games-to-two triumph in the best-of-seven championship series more than eight months after the death in a helicopter crash of team legend Kobe Bryant — who led the Lakers to their last title in 2010.
The series in the NBA’s quarantine bubble in Orlando, Florida, capped not only an emotional season for the Lakers with the loss of talisman Bryant but a season of uncertainty and upheaval for the NBA as players grappled with the coronavirus pandemic and the demands for social and racial justice sweeping across the United States.

LeBron James accents the Lakers victory over Miami Heat with a big dunk during the closing minutes of their 6th game in the NBA finals on Sunday. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/AFP)

The Lakers out-hustled, out-muscled and out-played Miami, making sure it wouldn’t come down to any last-gasp effort as it did when they were denied in game five on Friday.
Los Angeles had blown it open by halftime, their 36 second-quarter points equalling the Heat’s entire first half total as the Lakers took a 64-36 lead into the break.
Four Lakers players had scored in double-figures by halftime.

Rajon Rondo was a perfect six-for-six from the floor in the first half as the Lakers built the second-largest halftime lead in NBA Finals history.
Rondo, who won a title with the Celtics in 2008, scored 19 points off the bench. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 17, Danny Green scored 11 and the Lakers pulled level with the Boston Celtics for most titles all-time.
The Heat, who had stunned the Lakers on Friday on the back of Jimmy Butler’s gritty triple-double, couldn’t produce another miracle in the face of Los Angeles’ stifling defense.
Bam Adebayo led the Heat with 25 points and 10 rebounds and Butler and Jae Crowder added 12 apiece, but Miami simply had no answer for the knockout blow Los Angeles delivered in the first half.

James played his 260th playoff game — surpassing Derek Fisher for the most all time.
He had signalled the Lakers’ determination with nine first-quarter points.

LeBron James and Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrate after defeating the Miami Heat in Game Six of the 2020 NBA Finals on Sunday in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images/AFP)

The Lakers were devastating in transition, none moreso than James, who went coast-to-coast for a basket at the rim with 6:21 left in the opening period that boosted the Lakers’ lead to 18-3 and brought the bench to its feet.
Miami got an emotional lift with the return of high-scoring guard Goran Dragic with 1:09 remaining in the first quarter.
Dragic had been sidelined since suffering a torn plantar fascia in his left foot in game one, but he finished the night with just five points on two-of-eight shooting.

Butler’s early struggles presaged the Heat’s fate. He connected on just one basket in the opening quarter and the Lakers were on their way to the title by halftime.
“Obviously nobody likes to lose,” Butler said. “But I think we fought all year long, ups and downs, we stayed together — and I think that’s what it’s all about.”
James said one of the great satisfactions of the victory was helping Davis gain a title.
“I know what it feels like to have seven years where you feel like you can’t get over the hump,” said James, who had his arms around Davis on the sideline as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
“To be able to get him and we push him and let him know how great he is .... that’s what it’s all about.”

Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat bench react as the Los Angeles Lakers win Game Six of the 2020 NBA Finals on Sunday in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images/AFP)

Lakers: Davis did not wear the gold-painted sneakers that he had for Game 5; instead, he went with red-and-black ones Sunday. ... Among the ring-winners: Dion Waiters, who began this season with the Heat; 19-year-old Talen Horton-Tucker (he turns 20 Nov. 25) and Kostas Antetokounmpo — the brother of two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Heat: Goran Dragic (torn left plantar fascia) checked in late in the first quarter, his first appearance since Game 1 of the series. “I just wanted to be out there to help my team as much as possible. It is what it is. The Lakers were better,” an emotional Dragic said. ... Jae Crowder had 12 points and Duncan Robinson had 10 for the Heat.

John Salley and Robert Horry were, until Sunday, the only players to win championships with three different franchises. James (Miami, Cleveland) and Danny Green (San Antonio, Toronto) added their names to that list with this title.

Miami led the NBA with 94 games played this season — 30 more than Minnesota, which played the fewest in the NBA. The Heat finished with 1,247 3-pointers this season, including playoffs, 290 more than any other year in team history.

Nobody knows. The draft is set for Nov. 18, but the dates for the start of free agency, training camps and next season’s schedule could be weeks away from being finalized.

Southampton end Everton’s unbeaten start

Updated 25 October 2020

Southampton end Everton’s unbeaten start

  • Goals from James Ward-Prowse and Che Adams seal a 2-0 win against the Premier League leaders

LONDON: Southampton ended Everton’s unbeaten start to the season as goals from James Ward-Prowse and Che Adams sealed a 2-0 win against the Premier League leaders on Sunday.

Everton had gone eight games without defeat in all competitions this term, but they paid the price for a lethargic display at St. Mary’s.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side fell behind to Ward-Prowse’s first-half goal and Adams doubled their lead before the interval.

Everton left-back Lucas Digne was sent off for a dangerous challenge on Kyle Walker-Peters in the second half despite his claims he tripped when he stood on the Southampton defender’s heel.

Without the suspended Richarlison and injured Seamus Coleman after the stormy Merseyside derby draw with Liverpool last weekend, Everton lacked the drive and quality that had been the hallmark of their strong start to the campaign.

They remain above champions Liverpool on goal difference after a result that should serve as a reality check.

Southampton have now only lost twice in 13 league matches and climbed within 3 points of first place.

An entertaining encounter got off to a fast start when Danny Ings picked out Ryan Bertrand and his pass found Nathan Redmond for a shot that whistled past the post.

Everton’s first serious threat came from Alex Iwobi as the former Arsenal winger forced a good stop from Alex McCarthy.

Gylfi Sigurdsson went even closer with a blistering 20-yard drive that cannoned off the crossbar with McCarthy grasping at thin air.

Jordan Pickford was in action for the first time since his ugly tackle on Virgil van Dijk left the Liverpool defender with a serious knee injury.

Pickford had been subjected to vicious abuse on social media, but Ancelotti refused to take the error-prone keeper out of the spotlight.

Pickford made a good save to deny Oriol Romeu’s blast, but the England international had no chance when Ward-Prowse put Southampton ahead in the 27th minute.

Ward-Prowse passed into Ings, who returned the ball to the midfielder, who took one touch before firing into the far corner for his first goal of the season.

Adams doubled Southampton’s lead eight minutes later when Ings’ rampaged past Ben Godfrey and Yerry Mina before lofting a cross to his strike partner, whose shot deflected off Sigurdsson on its way past Pickford.

Southampton were in complete control. Stuart Armstrong had a strike disallowed for offside just before half time.

Everton had never won a Premier League game when they trailed by two or more goals at half time.

The visitors were marginally better in the second half, but James Rodriguez wasn’t having his usual influence on Everton’s play and their attacking threat was neutered.

Ings almost made it three from Armstrong’s cross, but couldn’t make strong enough contact.

Everton’s last hope vanished in the 72nd minute when Digne was dismissed for his awkward foul on Walker-Peters.

Scottish Premiership

Meanwhile, in the Scottish league, Celtic manager Neil Lennon said referee Willie Collum had had a “very poor game” after the champions were denied victory by Lewis Ferguson’s added-on time penalty in a dramatic 3-3 draw at Aberdeen on Sunday.

Celtic, who came into the match on the back of successive defeats after a 2-0 loss to arch-rivals Rangers was followed by a 3-1 Europa League reverse against Serie A leaders AC Milan, twice came from behind only to be denied in stoppage time by the Dons.

A share of the spoils at Pittodrie left Lennon’s side 3 points behind leaders Rangers, who could go six clear if they beat Livingston later on Sunday.