|Dates:||September 30–October 11|
(Los Angeles Lakers)
The 2020 NBA Finals was the championship series of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 2019–20 season and conclusion of the season's playoffs.
In this best-of-seven playoff series, the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat in six games, winning their first NBA championship in ten years. It was the franchise's 17th title, tying the Boston Celtics for the most in the league's history. The Lakers' LeBron James was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the fourth time in his career. He became the first player in league history to be named Finals MVP with three different franchises.
The Lakers were the No. 1 seed in the West, while the Heat were No. 5 in the East, becoming the third-lowest seed to advance to the Finals. This is the first NBA Finals matchup between the two teams, and the first time that Finals participants had both missed the playoffs in the previous season. The Lakers' LeBron James had previously played with the Heat winning two NBA titles from four consecutive Finals appearances from 2011–2014, while Heat president Pat Riley was head coach of the "Showtime"-era Lakers from 1981–1990 leading them to four NBA titles from seven Finals appearances.
For the first time after five seasons, the Golden State Warriors were not in the Finals.
The Finals were originally scheduled to begin on June 4 and end on June 24, but the season was suspended on March 11 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The NBA and its players later approved a plan to restart the season in late July, setting up the NBA Bubble at Walt Disney World to protect teams from the virus. The games were played behind closed doors in the Bubble at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Bay Lake, Florida, with the Finals being played from September 30 through October 11. This year's Finals was the latest to begin (beating the 2014 edition which began on June 5) and the first one played in September and October.
2020 NBA Playoffs
|Los Angeles Lakers (Western Conference Champion)||Miami Heat (Eastern Conference Champion)|
1st Pacific, 1st West, 3rd Overall
|Regular season||44–29 (.603)
1st Southeast, 5th East, 11th Overall
|Defeated the (8) Portland Trail Blazers, 4–1||First Round||Defeated the (4) Indiana Pacers, 4–0|
|Defeated the (4) Houston Rockets, 4–1||Conference Semifinals||Defeated the (1) Milwaukee Bucks, 4–1|
|Defeated the (3) Denver Nuggets, 4–1||Conference Finals||Defeated the (3) Boston Celtics, 4–2|
|Game||Date||Home Team||Result||Away Team|
|Game 1||September 30||Los Angeles||116–98||Miami|
|Game 2||October 2||Los Angeles||124–114||Miami|
|Game 3||October 4||Miami||115–104||Los Angeles|
|Game 4||October 6||Miami||96–102||Los Angeles|
|Game 5||October 9||Los Angeles||108–111||Miami|
|Game 6||October 11||Miami||93–106||Los Angeles|
Season suspension and restart
On March 11, 2020, the NBA announced the suspension of the 2019–20 season following a report that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 just hours before the Jazz road game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. On June 4, the NBA Board of Governors approved 29–1 (the Portland Trail Blazers were the lone dissenter) resuming the 2019–20 season at Walt Disney World. The National Basketball Players Association approved the plan a day later. Under the plan, thirteen Western Conference teams and nine Eastern Conference teams, which include all clubs within six games of a playoff spot, played eight regular-season "seeding" games. A possible play-in tournament for the eighth seed in each conference would then be held if the ninth seed finished the regular season within four games of the eighth seed (this play-in tournament was used in the Western conference only). The 2020 NBA playoffs were then played as a conventional post-season tournament.
Los Angeles Lakers
On the final day of the 2018–19 season, Magic Johnson stepped down as president of basketball operations, and head coach Luke Walton and the team mutually agreed to part ways a few days later. During the offseason, general manager Rob Pelinka hired Frank Vogel as the Lakers' new head coach, and he acquired six-time NBA All-Star power forward Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans in a three-way trade that also included the Washington Wizards. Pelinka was promoted to vice president of basketball operations in January 2020, while still retaining his GM role.
The Lakers clinched their first playoff berth since the 2012–13 season on March 6 before the season was suspended on March 11. After play resumed in the bubble, the Lakers clinched both their first Pacific Division title since 2012 and the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs for the first time since the 2009–10 season.
The Lakers needed five games each to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs, the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference semifinals, and the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals.
During the off-season, the Heat agreed to a four-way trade with the Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers, and the Philadelphia 76ers to acquire 5-time NBA All-Star small forward Jimmy Butler from the 76ers.
The Heat clinched their first playoff berth since the 2017–18 season on June 4 before the season was resumed on July 30. Before play resumed in the bubble, the Heat clinched their first Southeast Division title since 2017.
The Heat earned the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference after missing the playoffs the previous season.
The Heat swept the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs, upset the first seed Milwaukee Bucks in five games in the Eastern Conference semifinals, and defeated the third seed Boston Celtics in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals to become the first fifth-seeded team in NBA history to reach the Finals.