Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis revealed after Game 4 of the NBA Finals that teammate LeBron James sent a clear message in the team's group chat: "Must win." Davis and the rest of the team took Game 4 fully seriously and ended up beating the Miami Heat 102-96 to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.
"We see the message from our leader," Davis said after the game, per ESPN. "And he just left it at that." In Game 3, Heat star Butler scored 40 points to lead his team an upset win over the Lakers and help them reduce the deficit to 2-1.
In Game 4, Butler scored 11 points in the first quarter but then scored only 11 points in the rest of the game and finished the game with 22 points. Davis said the Lakers wanted to try to guard Butler on a different way and it worked.
"We just wanted to give him a different look, honestly," Davis noted. "We were asking a lot out of Bron. I just told Bron, 'I'll take him.' "
Davis praised by James
"That guy can do everything defensively," James said.
"Guarding the ball, guard the post, slide his feet with guards, contest, can body up with bigs. I mean, need I say more?" James, an all-time leader in NBA playoff wins, said it was one of the biggest games of his career.
"I felt like for me, personally, this was one of the biggest games of my career," James claimed. "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.
... "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. I'm still in it." James claims his mind is still fully focused on winning the championship and he will think about the rest later. "At this point in the season, I don't care about rest. I really don't.
I don't care about sleep," James said. "I don't care about resting because I can rest in a week, max, if it happens to go there. I could rest for a month straight, which I won't do because of who I am; you guys know that.
"But I can rest then. I can sleep eight hours and get up and eat and then go right back to sleep if I want to."