Update on Dragic. And Lakers fume about officiating against Heat, react to LeBron decision
Miami will likely be in these NBA Finals for the fifth time without security guard Goran Dragic when the heat hits the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 6 on Sunday (7:30 p.m., ABC).
The Heat listed Dragic as dubious for the game.
Dragic had had problems with the plantar fascia in his left foot for a few weeks and tore it open in the first half of Game 1 of the finals.
Jimmy Butler said Dragic continued his efforts to return despite the heat and Dragic believes the injury was too painful and restrictive to be effective.
"What he's trying to do, you tip your hat on a guy like that," said Jae Crowder. "Obviously it's a terrible time with an injury. It eats him alive that he has done all this work and has to face this injury that he is facing."
Dragic, 34, led the heat in the playoffs that led to the finals.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel expressed displeasure over two fouls that brought Butler late in Miami's Game 5 win. Butler made all four free throws on these sequences.
However, in their usual post-game foul assessment, the NBA decided that both games were correctly labeled as fouls against the Lakers.
"I felt like two bad calls ended up getting Butler's turn and that's unfortunate in a game of this size," said Vogel. “Anthony Davis had perfect verticality; [that] should be a game. And in the time before, Markieff Morris had his hands on the ball; that should be a game.
“They received four free throws and made it a tough fight for us. Very disappointed with this aspect of the game but we will bounce back a lot. "
LeBron James cited "a couple of questionable calls that staggered their way and put Jimmy on the free-throw line. Of course we can't. He was almost perfect on the show's free-throw line. "
Butler shot 92 percent off the line in the final (46 for 50).
"I thought AD played one hell of a good game on the fringes," said James of the Davis foul on Butler.
The NBA said the heat was beneficial in one way: Andre Iguodala should have received an illegal defense 28 seconds before the end, which would have given the Lakers a free throw if they lost one.
▪ Danny Green missed an open three-pointer on a pass from James by seven seconds, and the Lakers were 6-0 off the field after a James pass in the clutch, including 0-4 on open looks at those passes, via ESPN . The NBA defines clutch as the last five minutes of a game with a margin of five points or less.
"I've played the game the same way since I was a kid and I've had success. I'm not going to let a game here or a game there change the way I play," said James.
About the pass to Green, James said, “I was able to drag two defenders under the free throw line and find one of our shooters on top of the key to win a face-up three. I trusted him, we trusted him and it just didn't work. You live with it. I wish I could make a better pass ... And then we got the offensive rebound and flipped the ball. "
Some - including ESPN's Jay Williams - criticized James for failing to take that shot, not just because of his size, but also because he had another spectacular game (40 points on 15-of-21, 13 rebounds , seven assists and three steals). But Vogel said James made the right game. Danny is one of our best shooters; he looked great. "
▪ The Lakers' Davis, who left Game 5 shortly after a serious right heel injury when Iguodala stepped on his foot, said he would be "fine" for Game 6, despite limping intermittently during Game 5. The Lakers listed him as likely for Game 6.
Vogel said Davis "struggled to move a little, but he managed."
▪ James said of the Heat: “One thing about this team we play against is that you have to pay for every mistake. It's the same as when I played Golden State all these years. you make a mistake, they make you pay. "
James will play his 260th playoff game on Sunday, breaking a tie with Derek Fisher in the most postseason games by any player in NBA history.
▪ Duncan Robinson believes the exceptional condition of the heat helped in these playoffs, especially on Friday when Erik Spoelstra only played against seven players.
"We wear it with pride," said Robinson of the team's high level of fitness. "We think this is an advantage in every series we play in. We've talked about emptying the tanks, whatever it takes."
▪ The heat beat the Lakers in the clutch of Game 5 with 15: 9 and in these playoffs beat their opponents by 47 points in 50 clutch minutes and shot 52 percent in those 50 minutes.
▪ Butler is the second player - steals were pursued for the first time since 1973-74 - to score a 30-point triple-double with at least five steals in a playoff game. Gary Payton did that in the first round of the 2000 playoffs.
▪ Tyler Herro's 47 three-pointers are most scored by a freshman in a single playoff and are at the top of Matt Maloney's 43rd Michael Porter Jr.'s 34 and Manu Ginobilis' 28th.
In addition, Herro leads all NBA players with 223 minutes in the fourth quarter during these playoffs.
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