Following a Game 3 loss where the Lakers just kind of went through the motions, the Lakers came out Tuesday night with a renewed focus, particularly on the defensive end, and that got them the win to go up 3-1 in the NBA Finals.
What inspired the Lakers? A game-day text from LeBron James.
“We see the message from our leader saying this is a must-win, and he just left it at that,” Anthony Davis said. Davis was inspired to have a monster defensive night going against Jimmy Butler.
“When I woke up from my nap this morning after our team meeting, I just felt that. I felt that vibe. I felt that pressure. I felt like for me personally, this was one of the biggest games of my career,” LeBron said of his text. “I just wanted to relay that message to my teammates, the type of zone I was in, the type of moment it was, and the kind of team we were playing against. After the Game 3 win, that confidence they had, the confidence they still have even after tonight’s loss. They are just a gritty, so damn-well-coached team.
“I feel like if we’re going to be a championship ballclub, if we want to really be a championship team, that we got to have that same grit and that same attitude. It was my mindset.”
Markieff Morris said on NBA TV LeBron James’ text helped everyone understand the moment — if LeBron, who has done everything on a basketball court, thinks this is one of the biggest games he’s ever played, they have to be ready.
LeBron backed up his words with action, scoring 20 points in the second half, 11 in the fourth quarter to lead the Lakers to a win.
Now the Lakers need to carry that energy and focus over to Game 5 on Friday to close out a championship.