John Raoux/Associated Press
Thanks to a 102-96 win Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Lakers can seal the championship in Game 5 of the 2020 NBA Finals.
But the Miami Heat remain a stout challenge.
Star center Bam Adebayo returned from injury in Game 4, and point guard Goran Dragic is itching to be available. Jimmy Butler finished one assist shy of his second straight triple-double, and Tyler Herro cracked the 20-point mark too.
Given the 3-1 lead, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers have proved themselves capable of overcoming a feisty Miami team. Still, the series isn’t over.
2020 NBA Finals Game 5 Info
When: Friday, Oct. 9, at 9 p.m. ET
Live stream: ESPN
Spread (via FanDuel): Lakers -7.5
Moneyline (via FanDuel): Lakers -335 (bet $335 to win $100); Heat +270 (bet $100 to win $270)
Latest News on Dragic
One thing is certain: If there’s a way Dragic can play, he will.
Prior to Game 4, the veteran tested out his injured foot in warm-ups. While it didn’t go as hoped—which, in fairness, was the expectation—Dragic still made the effort.
As of Thursday night’s injury report, according to ESPN’s Malika Andrews, Dragic is listed as doubtful.
He exited the opening game of the series because of a torn plantar fascia in his left foot and has not played since. Dragic’s absence is particularly notable on the offensive end given his facilitation skills and 19.9 points per game in the playoffs.
Without him, Jimmy Butler has taken the lead role for Miami. His usage rate has climbed from 22.9 percent in the Eastern Conference Finals to 28.1 in the NBA Finals.
Dragic probably won’t play Friday, but it’s fair to expect he will test his pain tolerance in pregame.
Lakers in Mamba Jerseys for Game 5
NBA legend Kobe Bryant died in January. His impact will be visible in Game 5.
As the Lakers attempt to secure the championship, they will be wearing their Black Mamba uniform, per LockerVision. Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press noted the team initially planned to wear all-black uniforms if the series reached Game 7.
Los Angeles is perfect in the Mamba look this season.
“Mamba and Mambacita jerseys approved for Game 5,” Kobe’s wife Vanessa Bryant said (h/t ESPN). “Let’s go Lakers.”
Los Angeles is aiming for its first NBA championship since Kobe and Co. edged the Boston Celtics in 2010. LeBron would earn his fourth career title, while it would be Anthony Davis’ first.
And to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy in Mamba jerseys would be a fitting tribute to the Hall of Famer.
Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.