The Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat are set to face off in a crucial Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
The Heat are trying to force a Game 7 whereas the Lakers are looking to put this series to rest and win their first NBA championship since 2010. Ahead of Game 6, take a look at some key numbers to know as these teams put it all on the line.
5-0: The record of the team that wins the first quarter in this series
So far in the 2020 NBA Finals, the team that has won the first quarter of each game has gone on to win the game. This shouldn't come as much of a surprise on the Lakers front, as Los Angeles is a perfect 12-0 this postseason when they win the first quarter.
As for the Heat, it's a bit more uncharacteristic considering they've struggled with getting off to a good start at times during these playoffs, but they became accustomed to playing from behind. Throughout their three Eastern Conference playoff series, Miami owned an impressive record of 8-1 after losing the first quarter. They haven't been able to recreate that comeback magic yet in this series, so it's imperative they come out of the opening tip with energy to try and get an early lead on a Lakers team that hasn't surrendered a single game following first quarter lead.
7: The number of jump shots Jimmy Butler made in Game 5
Why is this significant? It's tied for the most jump shots Butler has made in a game all season ( according to Heat.com's Couper Moorhead ).
Why is that significant, again, you ask? Because the Lakers made the adjustment to switch the lengthy and versatile Anthony Davis onto Butler in Game 4 and it worked in slowing down Butler's scoring output, holding him to a series-low 22 points. In that contest, according to NBA stats, he attempted 10 jump shots as the bigger defender in Davis prevented Butler from getting all the way to the basket. He shot 5-for-10 on those jump shot attempts, proving he can consistently knock them down, but it was clear that Los Angeles was willing to live with those shots.
In Game 5, he knocked down seven of his 14 jump shot attempts, possibly making the Lakers rethink their willingness to let Butler dial in from midrange all game.
MORE: How Butler picked Davis apart in Game 5
As long as Davis is healthy enough to keep up with Butler, they'll likely continue to use that matchup. If Butler's going to keep Miami's season alive, he's going to have to continue to shoot consistently on these midrange jumpers.
48: Jimmy Butler's total points in the clutch this playoffs
You don't need a stat to tell you that Butler has been amazing in the clutch this playoffs, but it's always nice when a stat can help paint the picture.
Butler's 48 total points in the clutch leads the entire NBA this postseason . The Heat's All-Star forward has turned his game up a notch when the team needs it most, shooting 57.1% from the field in the clutch - the second-best field goal percentage of any player with more than 15 attempts - showing that he's scoring efficiently when the game is on the line.
Butler's Game 5 performance was just another demonstration of how great he is when the game's magnitude is at it's highest, single-handedly outscoring the entire Lakers team in the clutch to keep Miami's season alive. Butler scored 11 points to the Los Angeles' nine points in clutch-time, helping the Heat force a Game 6.
Watching him go punch-for-punch with possibly the greatest player of all-time in LeBron James, it's clear Butler is built for this moment. If Game 6 is close in the waining minutes of the fourth quarter, you already know he'll have the ball in his hands looking to add to his playoff-leading point total in the clutch.
2: The number of games the Lakers have lost this season when LeBron James and Anthony Davis combine for 60-plus points
Game 5 was an outlier for the Lakers - it was just the second time they've lost when LeBron and AD combined for 60 or more points. Los Angeles was 14-1 this regular season and, prior to Game 5, 6-0 this postseason when their two superstars acheived the feat.
It wasn't a game to write home about for the Lakers supporting cast, as James and Davis accounted for 87 of the team's 108 points (81%) in Game 5's loss. While LeBron and AD were super efficient shooting 24-for-36 (66.7%) from the field, the rest of the team struggled going a combined 14-for-46 (30.4%) from the field.
MORE: Lakers flaws exploited in Game 5
While it's rare that Los Angeles loses when their All-Star duo is locked in the way they were in Game 5, they're going to need some assistance from their role players if they're going to close this series out in Game 6.
77.6%: LeBron James' winning percentage in closeout games
Prior to Game 5's loss, James had won 17 of his last 18 games to close out a series. Even after the loss, his 77.6% winning percentage in closeout games - with a 38-11 record - is still the best of all-time, according to ESPN's Kirk Goldsberry .
In LeBron's 17-year career, he has only lost consecutive closeout games one time, all the way back in 2006 during the second playoff series of his career where the Cleveland Cavaliers dropped Games 6 and 7 to the Detroit Pistons.
Closeout LeBron is a different breed of basketball player and although the Heat survived that in Game 5, they're going to have to be even better to do it again in Game 6.
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