Bam Adebayo admitted the Miami Heat have their “backs against the wall” after falling to a 3-1 series deficit against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Adebayo returned to the Heat line-up after missing Game 2 and 3 with shoulder and neck injuries. He played 33 minutes, contributing 15 points and seven rebounds, but could not prevent Miami from falling to a 102-96 defeat in Game 4 on Tuesday night.
Speaking after the game in a news conference, Adebayo said he was “still not 100 per cent, but moving well” in his return to action and insisted, despite being 3-1 down, the Heat retain hope of winning the series.
“Our backs are against the wall, he said. “But it’s not like (coming down from 3-1 down) has never been done before. We still hold out hope. We are going to fight until the end, start to finish.”
Adebayo cited moments of ill-disciplined play by Miami as the decisive factor in Game 4.
“We can’t have so many pockets of undisciplined basketball, he said. “I feel like that dictated the game a lot. We had certain spurts where (we took) early shots in the shot clock and giving up easy baskets in transition. We have got to get back to the drawing board and find some solutions.”
With 39.5 seconds left in the game, Lakers forward Anthony Davis settled matters by hitting a clutch three-pointer over Adebayo after receiving a kick-out pass from Rajon Rondo.
“Bottom line, I have got to be better,” Adebayo said. “You can’t give him too much air-space.”
Game 5 takes place in the early hours of Saturday morning (1:45am), live on Sky Sports Arena. The Heat will hope the three-day break will give injured starting point guard Goran Dragic extra hope of returning to action after injuring his foot in Game 1.
But Adebayo said an extra day of rest will benefit all of Miami’s players.
“Collectively, we all need two days off,” he said. “It’s not just me, it’s not just Goran (Dragic). We all need a couple of days to readjust and re-align.”
Watch Heat @ Lakers Game 5 live on Sky Sports Arena in the early hours of Saturday morning (1:45am)