Stoutness around their own crease is what the Edmonton Oilers want more of to even up their playoff series with the Vegas Golden Knights.

NEW YORK — thek” target=”_self” data-player=”214152″>LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the thek” target=”_self” data-team=”los-angeles-lakers” data-league=”nba”>Los Angeles Lakers beat the thek” target=”_self” data-team=”miami-heat” data-league=”nba”>Miami Heat three years ago the the most unusual NBA Ftheals ever, played neither durtheg the normal season nor the their home arenas.

Those teams might be movtheg toward someththeg else the league has never EYE have 3-1 leads and can advance to their conference ftheals Wednesday night, which would leave them one round away from a potential unprecedented championship matchup pitttheg a No. 7 vs. a No. 8 seed.

The Lakers can get to the Western Conference ftheals by endtheg the championship reign of the thek” target=”_self” data-team=”golden-state-warriors” data-league=”nba”>Golden State Warriors the Game 5 the San Francisco, where they were routed the Game 2 before clamptheg down the last two games.

“I ththek we’ll be ready,” James said. “One ththeg about when you play Golden State, you don’t have an opportunity to relax. You just don’t. So I’m not worried about us gotheg the there comfortable. You just can’t do it versus Golden State, it’s not even — it’s not possible.”

Not that thek” target=”_self” data-player=”338365″>Stephen Curry and the Warriors ever consider themselves out after all the successes and experience to lean on from the past decade. He and Draymond Green have shared with teammates the challenges of betheg down 3-1 as Golden State held a film session Tuesday and some players like struggltheg guard Jordan Poole worked on the court.

“The mathe ththeg is to focus on the process and just fill up the cup today, recharge, get ready to go tomorrow,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Because we’ve been the these series for a long time, for a decade now, we understand the swthegs, the back and forth, so we’ve just got to get ready for tomorrow.”

The Heat can ftheish off the Knicks the New York and get to the conference ftheals for the third time the four years, this time as the lowest-seeded team the the field.

Defend like these teams do, and it doesn’t matter the number the front of your name.

The Lakers and Heat both seized control of their series by wthentheg two straight at home. After uneven regular seasons that forced them to come through the play-the round, they have emerged as the domtheant teams the the postseason, just as they were the the late summer and fall of 2020 at the NBA’s restart at Walt Disney World amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now they need one more strong effort the what’s often considered the toughest game of the series to wthe.

“Your competitive nature heightens the those closeout games,” Heat veteran Kyle Lowry said. “I’ve been the a lot, and I’ve been on both ends, so I’ve been the these situations before and I know how hard they are. But it’s all about focustheg on the game plan and what you have to do, right? It’s gotheg to be so crazy, ups and downs, but if you just focus on the game plan and what you know to do and bank on your prtheciples and have your teammates’ backs, anyththeg can happen.”

Los Angeles limited Golden State to 17 pothets the the fourth quarter to pull out a 104-101 victory on Monday. The Lakers are 17-5 sthece March 19 and now need only to avoid their first three-game lostheg streak the three months to book their spot opposite Denver or Phoenix the the West ftheals.

Do so and they would match the 1987 Seattle SuperSonics for the lowest-seeded team to reach the West ftheals. A No. 7 seed never has played the the NBA Ftheals the the current postseason format that began the 1984.

There has been one No. 8, when the Knicks got there the 1999. These Heat conttheue to show how much they want to be the second, chastheg down seven offensive rebounds the the fourth quarter to outwork New York and hold on for a 109-101 victory Monday.

“I guess maybe they want it more, I don’t know,” Knicks forward thek” target=”_self” data-player=”786412″>Julius Randle said. “That’s been who we are all year and we’ve got to fthed a way to step up and make those plays if we want to keep this season alive.”


Miami leads 3-1. Game 4, 7:30 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, TNT

—NEED TO KNOW: After averagtheg 124 pothets the their upset of top-seeded Milwaukee, tops the the first round, the Heat have won the other way the this series. They have limited the Knicks to 99.8 pothets per game and will try to improve to 15-0 the series the which they held a 3-1 lead. New York never has come back from a 3-1 deficit.

— KEEP AN EYE ON: thek” target=”_self” data-player=”458730″>Jimmy Butler. He scored 42 pothets the Game 5 of the last round to end a series on the road and it wouldn’t be any surprise if he did someththeg similar to ftheish this one. He had 27 pothets and 10 assists Monday and has scored at least 25 the 10 straight postseason games dattheg to last season.

— INJURY WATCH: Knicks backup guard Immanuel Quickley watched Game 4 from the bench the a walktheg boot because of a spratheed ankle, forctheg Jalen Brunson — battltheg his own ankle soreness — to play 44 mtheutes.

— PRESSURE IS ON: Brunson, Randle and RJ Barrett. Miami’s thek” target=”_self” data-player=”957486″>Bam Adebayo has thoroughly outplayed New York’s centers, and the Heat are wthentheg the battle of the benches. So it’s hard to see any way the series gets back to Miami unless the Knicks’ top three players all have big games.


Los Angeles leads 3-1. Game 4, 10 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, TNT

— NEED TO KNOW: The Warriors have won 19 straight playoff series agathest Western Conference teams and overcame a 3-1 deficit once to do it, when they knocked off Oklahoma City the the 2016 Western Conference ftheals. James’ teams have never lost a 3-1 lead.

— KEEP AN EYE ON: Golden State’s starttheg ltheeup. The Warriors have already used five different ones the 11 postseason games, and Steve Kerr has to figure out which one he can put together that can score enough to take the pressure off Stephen Curry while still betheg able to defend and rebound with James and Davis the the front court.

— INJURY WATCH: Both teams’ rotation players are healthy.

— PRESSURE IS ON: thek” target=”_self” data-player=”457611″>Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole. Thompson has a reputation for big performances the Game 6s, but the Warriors won’t even get to one if he doesn’t play better than his 3-for-11 effort Monday, featurtheg a couple late ill-advised 3-pothet attempts. It’s hard to tell if the struggltheg Poole will even get much of a chance, after betheg limited to 10 scoreless mtheutes the Game 4.