In a game that had so much on the line, the LA Lakers received a huge boost from their role players.
The Lakers took Game 4 to have a commanding 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals over the Miami Heat all thanks to the “other guys”.
The duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis still led the way for the purple and gold squad. James almost had a triple-double with 28 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, while Davis had 22 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.
However, it’s the role players that came up with the big plays down the stretch to seal the win and push the Lakers one win closer to the title.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Rajon Rondo both played huge in the fourth quarter.
KCP, who had 15 points, three rebounds and five assists in the game went on a solo 5-0 run with at the three-minute mark of the fourth quarter to extend their lead to seven, 95-88, with two minutes left in the game. He drained a three-pointer in transition and then attacked the defense of Duncan Robinson and finished at the rim.
Veteran Point God, Playoff Rondo, contributed as well. He only finished with two points but had seven rebounds and five assists for the game. His only bucket in the game happened in the fourth quarter, as after Jae Crowder knocked down a three-pointer on one end, Rondo answered back on the other end with a tricky lay-up to give them a 97-91 lead with 1:27 left in the game.
He also had multiple clutch rebounds and he’s the one who set up AD to hit the three-pointer that iced the game for good.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel tipped his hat on his two x-factors and had great comments about them in the post-game press conference:
“He’s a confident young man, he’s been a huge part of our success this year for what he does on both ends of the floor… We’re a team first team, obviously, we got our two big horses but everybody has gotta contribute that’s out there,” he said on Caldwell-Pope’s big game.
“He’s been huge for us all year. Obviously, vital down the stretch. We’ve been telling Bron (LeBron James), if we need a possession offensively, that’s a great option to go to. Rondo and AD on the pick and roll. And he had great trust, it’s tough to trust in that situation, late in the game but when you trust your teammates, you usually get rewarded and Rondo made a great play and AD was huge,” he added.
“Rajon is a huge part of what we do, I got tremendous amount of trust on his abilities, especially, in this atmosphere, this deep in the playoffs, his game means so much. He’s been there before and I trust him,” shared Vogel.
The Lakers are looking to close the series and secure a 17th championship banner this Saturday.