The Los Angeles Lakers are not sweating their 115-104 defeat to the Miami Heat in Game 3, which kept them from taking a decisive 3-0 lead in the 2020 NBA Finals.
The Lakers had a chance to put the Heat on the brink after back-to-back wins in the best-of-seven series, and they were favored to do so when it was confirmed that Miami All-Stars Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic would miss their second straight games due to injury.
But the Lakers blew the opportunity due to their sloppy play, committing 20 turnovers -- including 10 in the first quarter alone. With All-NBA big man Anthony Davis shackled and in foul trouble, the Lakers could not complete a comeback in the fourth period and had no answer for the rampant Jimmy Butler.
Despite their subpar performance, LeBron James and Davis did not appear too worried and were confident that the Lakers will bounce back in Game 4.
"They continued to make shots, and we had some turnovers. We didn't make shots. They came out and executed after we took the lead. Jimmy, like I said, he had his hand on all those plays pretty much," said James, who accounted for eight turnovers.
"Obviously, we have to do a better job of that coming down the stretch. But I like our fight tonight, even as poorly as I believe we played," he added.
The Lakers fell behind by 14 points in the third quarter but clawed their way back, even briefly taking a one-possession lead in the fourth period.
However, Butler was simply unstoppable down the stretch as he did a little bit of everything for the Heat. He finished with a triple-double of 40 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds, becoming only the fourth player in NBA history to register such numbers in the Finals stage.
James acknowledged that Butler had been "phenomenal" in the game, but also stressed that the Lakers were ready to do what it takes to slow him down in Game 4.
"We learn from our mistakes pretty quick," he said. "You know, obviously right now with the games being every other day pretty much, it's the film room. It's the film room and it's how well we can make adjustments from the film and take it to the floor, and we have done a great job throughout this postseason."
"So we are going to definitely have to do that because we're playing against a very, very, very, very good team. We have to learn from our mistakes and be better on Tuesday (Wednesday morning in Manila)," he added.
As far as feeling "concerned" that they had let a golden opportunity slip away, James said that was not their mindset.
"We know for sure that Miami is never going to quit, no matter if we won tonight and they go into a Game 4, 3-0," said James, who memorably played four seasons and won two titles with Miami earlier in his career.
"I know how resilient that bunch is and how resilient that coaching staff is and their franchise. I don't ever feel like we let our guard down," he said.
"Also, I don't feel like we're concerned. We're not concerned. We know we can play a lot better. We have another opportunity to take a commanding lead on Tuesday. You relish that opportunity," he added.
Davis was similarly confident that they could regroup in the next game. The big man had been unstoppable in the first two games, particularly with Adebayo unavailable, but he was limited to just nine field goal attempts in Game 3.
Afterward, he acknowledged that his early foul trouble kept him from being as aggressive as he would have wanted on both ends of the floor.
"We'll be fine," Davis assured. "We made shots. We didn't defend at all tonight. They made big shots. Made some good plays."
"Trust me, we'll be fine," he added.