Davis and Lakers roll in game one of NBA Finals against Heat
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Anthony Davis’ 34 points led the Los Angeles Lakers to a 116-98 win against the Miami Heat in game one of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night.
In his Finals debut, Davis was efficient, shooting 11-21 from the field, as well as adding six rebounds and five assists.
The Lakers dominance in game one however, may have not been the main takeaway--instead the disappointments that emerged from the Heat side not only on the floor but on the injury front is what stood out.
Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo both left the game with apparent injuries, and the offensive leader, Jimmy Butler, faced an injury scare in the second quarter.
Butler did recover quickly to finish the game.
As the heavy favorites entering the 2020 edition of the Finals, Los Angeles played up to what has been said and written about them by journalists, pundits and fans alike prior to game one.
The Lakers performance on Wednesday night was reminiscent of LeBron James’ old foes from Golden State, who enjoyed multiple blowout victories against LeBron’s Cavaliers in both the 2017 and 2018 NBA Finals.
Wednesday night marked the start of James' 10th NBA Finals appearance.
It was also James’ 255th playoff game.
The three-time NBA champion finished the game with 25 points, while adding 13 rebounds and falling just one assist short of his 11th triple-double in a Finals game.
For the native of Akron, Ohio, his Lakers were outscored early due in large part to the Heat’s 13-0 run halfway through the first quarter.
But after the Lakers trailed by 13 midway through the opening frame, Frank Vogel called a timeout, sparking both the offense and most importantly, the intensity on defense.
As a result, Los Angeles took a three point lead to the second quarter, led by Anthony Davis’ 11 first quarter points.
Davis became the story for the Lakers, as became evident in the third quarter when his presence in the paint, and ability to finish on second and third chance scoring opportunities propelled the Western Conference Champions to a 30-point lead.
But it was also the Lakers scoring depth that contributed to the game one blowout victory of the Heat--Danny Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Alex Caruso all scored in double figures.
Miami’s 13-0 run in the first quarter was the last time the Eastern Conference Champions had any control over game one of the Finals.
Tyler Herro averaged 19 PPG in the Eastern Conference Finals, playing a key role in acting as Jimmy Butler’s sidekick in their six-game series win against the Boston Celtics.
Butler scored 16 points in the first half in game one of the Finals on Wednesday night.
His assertiveness and ability to drive to the basket, contending with Anthony Davis, carried the Heat offensively throughout the first half.
For Miami however, Butler’s MVP like playoff performance thus far has run into its biggest test--the Lakers.
And the result of game one proves that the Heat are indeed the heavy underdogs in the Finals, if it wasn’t obvious before.
Miami beat Indiana, Milwaukee and Boston to reach the NBA Finals.
For the Lakers, their path to the Finals included the likes of Portland, Houston, and Denver.
The Heat and Lakers will play the second game of the 2020 NBA Finals on Friday night at 9:00 PM EST.