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Lakers win record-tying 17th NBA title, giving LeBron James his 4th championship

The Los Angeles Lakers are NBA champions, defeating the Miami Heat 106-93 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night, winning the best-of-seven series four...

Posted: Oct 12, 2020 9:28 AM

The Los Angeles Lakers are NBA champions, defeating the Miami Heat 106-93 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night, winning the best-of-seven series four games to two.

It's the 17th title for the franchise, tying the Lakers with the Boston Celtics for the most all time in NBA history.

This was the Lakers' first NBA Finals appearance since 2010, when the late Kobe Bryant won his fifth and final NBA title. Bryant, along with his daughter Gianna and seven others, died in a helicopter crash January 26.

It's the fourth championship for LeBron James, in his 10th NBA Finals. James previously won two titles with the Heat (2012 and 2013) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (2016). On Sunday, he became the NBA's all-time leader in playoff games played, at 260. He finished the night with a triple-double: 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists. He was named NBA Finals MVP, the fourth time he has received this honor.

James is the first player in NBA history to earn NBA Finals MVP with three different teams. Only Michael Jordan has more NBA Finals MVP awards, with six.

"For me to be a part of such a historical franchise is an unbelievable feeling, not only for myself but for my teammates, for the organization, for the coaches, for the trainers, everybody that's here," James said on the court. "We just want our respect. (Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager) Rob (Pelinka) wants his respect. (Lakers head) coach (Frank) Vogel wants his respect. Our organization wants their respect. Laker nation wants their respect. And I want my damn respect, too."

This capped an NBA season -- which ends just outside of Orlando, Florida -- unlike any other, as widespread protests over racial injustice fanned out across the US during the coronavirus pandemic and with a contentious presidential election just weeks away. While leading his team to a title, James has been a leader among the sport's most influential players in setting an agenda during the social justice movement.

Pandemic halts NBA season in March after Gobert's positive test

On March 11, Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for Covid-19, causing the NBA to postpone that night's game between the Jazz and Thunder in Oklahoma City. It led to a suspension of league play -- and a ripple effect around the sports landscape.

In June, around the time when the NBA Finals normally would be taking place, the league announced the season would resume at the end of July at the Walt Disney World Resort, using an isolated campus to hold games, practices and residency for 22 of the league's 30 teams to determine who would reach the playoffs.

The plan overall was a success, with no major outbreaks of Covid-19 inside the bubble.

Even with the challenges of the pandemic, players around the league have remained vocal in their demands for systemic justice. The words "Black Lives Matter" were painted on the courts in Florida. When the season resumed, almost all players -- with many coaches and referees joining them -- kneeled during the National Anthem.

Then came August 23.

Bucks take a stand, leading to games called off across US sports

Several states away from the bubble, Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot by police seven times in the back as he tried to enter his vehicle in Kenosha, Wisconsin. His shooting at the time had become the latest incident to prompt outrage nationwide over racial injustice and police brutality.

What came next in the NBA led to almost a complete halt of sports in the US.

On August 26, the Milwaukee Bucks decided to not play in their playoff game against the Orlando Magic. It caused a cascading effect, as athletes acted in solidarity with the Bucks' players.

NBA playoff games were postponed. So were games in the WNBA, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer. Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka announced on social media that she would not play in the semifinals of the Western & Southern Open, a tune-up ahead of the US Open, that following day, leading to the tournament pausing play for a day.

"We know that being here has given us the strength and the numbers. ... That's a byproduct of us being here, of being able to use this platform to be able to talk about everything that's going on outside of the court," James said Thursday of the social justice movement with players inside the NBA bubble.

"All the social injustice and the voter suppression and so many other things that are just going on. The police brutality and so on and so on and so on. Us being here and having the opportunity to talk about these issues and continuing to understand that this world is not just about basketball. Even though we live in a small piece of the game of basketball, there are so many bigger things and so many greater things going on. If you can make an impact or you can make a change or you can have a vision, it just helps out so much, not only in your community but all over the world."

Next season's start date not yet known

Ultimately, the NBA playoffs resumed August 29, culminating in an NBA Finals between the favored Lakers, who were the top seed in the Western Conference, and a surprise in the fifth-seeded Heat out of the Eastern Conference.

Miami, after sweeping the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs, knocked out the favorite in the East, the top-seeded Bucks, in the second round. The Heat went on to beat the Celtics to reach the finals.

Despite being without Goran Dragic (torn plantar fascia in his left foot) and Bam Adebayo (neck strain) for part of this series, the Heat made it competitive, with Jimmy Butler leading the way. Acquired by the Heat from the Philadelphia 76ers as part of a four-team trade on July 6, 2019, Butler became the first player in NBA Finals history to post multiple 35-point triple-doubles in the same series, scoring 40 points in Game 3 and 35 in Game 5.

But by Game 6, even though Butler was joined by Adebayo and Dragic, the Heat looked exhausted. Butler had just 12 points Sunday, while Adebayo led the Heat with 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

At this point, it's unknown when the 2020-2021 NBA season will begin, though league commissioner Adam Silver said last month his "best guess" is it won't start until January 2021.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 613228

Reported Deaths: 9728
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion846851338
Lake45676687
Allen32980552
Hamilton29649315
St. Joseph27531382
Elkhart24478345
Vanderburgh19610250
Tippecanoe18108141
Johnson15191295
Porter14944169
Hendricks14485250
Madison11044222
Clark10811144
Vigo10795181
Monroe9458113
Delaware9170134
LaPorte9145164
Howard8292144
Kosciusko810183
Warrick680299
Hancock6782104
Bartholomew6640100
Floyd6507110
Wayne6177162
Grant6027116
Dubois558680
Boone556468
Morgan548695
Henry511464
Marshall506984
Cass486964
Dearborn486545
Noble475659
Jackson427747
Shelby420781
Lawrence393780
Clinton375044
Gibson374459
Harrison353045
DeKalb349864
Montgomery347654
Knox336239
Miami324544
Steuben315046
Whitley311126
Wabash305851
Adams302836
Ripley300546
Putnam298950
Huntington294860
Jasper291734
White275143
Daviess271774
Jefferson266238
Decatur249583
Fayette248648
Greene242262
Posey241028
Wells236951
LaGrange230062
Scott226839
Clay224332
Randolph215248
Jennings200636
Sullivan193533
Spencer193022
Washington188023
Fountain184927
Starke176444
Jay168623
Owen167637
Fulton164830
Orange160935
Carroll159715
Rush156318
Perry155929
Vermillion149734
Franklin149333
Tipton133133
Parke13088
Pike118526
Blackford111822
Pulaski97837
Newton92021
Brown88335
Benton87110
Crawford8099
Martin74913
Warren6857
Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4977
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 868656

Reported Deaths: 10768
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin102154707
Cuyahoga865201153
Hamilton64744448
Montgomery43516419
Summit35250762
Lucas31663631
Butler31268232
Stark26096443
Warren19830142
Lorain19296229
Mahoning17471339
Lake16250154
Clermont16128112
Delaware1453680
Licking13326137
Fairfield1294981
Trumbull12920317
Greene12174141
Medina11732168
Clark11058265
Wood10457158
Allen9988127
Portage9454111
Miami924473
Richland9236118
Marion7486113
Tuscarawas7440183
Columbiana7409124
Pickaway732150
Wayne7111172
Muskingum710342
Erie6221130
Ross5558100
Hancock555292
Scioto542764
Geauga515955
Darke473492
Lawrence460658
Union456928
Ashtabula456473
Sandusky439562
Mercer435089
Seneca433866
Huron432841
Auglaize424164
Shelby422522
Jefferson422469
Belmont421145
Washington394240
Athens38389
Putnam378075
Madison358129
Knox356122
Ashland349038
Fulton340443
Defiance334486
Crawford325774
Preble322737
Brown315821
Logan312132
Ottawa296543
Clinton291543
Williams280367
Highland279018
Jackson265845
Guernsey257126
Champaign253428
Fayette239530
Morrow23464
Perry233718
Holmes226774
Henry221953
Hardin215533
Coshocton206922
Van Wert203445
Gallia199826
Wyandot196751
Pike178017
Adams177715
Hocking173224
Carroll157616
Paulding145321
Noble121040
Meigs109724
Monroe102232
Harrison89921
Morgan83931
Vinton71314
Unassigned00
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