LeBron James scored 33 points and Anthony Davis 32 as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the shorthanded Miami Heat, 124-114, Friday evening to take a two games to none lead in the NBA Finals.
Davis made 14 of his first 15 shots and 15 of 20 overall and pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds. James had nine assists and nine rebounds.
The Lakers are 20-1 when Davis and James combine for 60 points, tying Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal in the 1999-2000 season for the best record in a season by teammates in NBA history, including playoffs, with a minimum of 15 games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Teams winning the first two games of the finals have won 30 of 34 times, 88.2%.
Game 3 of the best-of-seven series will be played Sunday. The entire NBA postseason is being played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Lakers trailed twice, 5-4 and 8-6. They took the lead for good with eight minutes, eight seconds left in the first quarter.
The Lakers led 29-23 at the end of the first quarter, 68-54 at halftime and 103-93 after three quarters. They had five 18-point leads in the third quarter, their largest of the game.
Miami cut the lead to nine twice in the second half at 101-91 with 48.8 seconds left in the third quarter and 108-99 with 10:01 to play in the fourth quarter, but were unable to pull any closer.
The Lakers took a NBA Finals-record 47 3-point shots, making 16, 34%.
The Heat played without two customary starters.
Point guard Goran Dragic tore the plantar fascia ligament in his left foot in the second quarter of Wednesday’s 116-98 loss in Game 1. An MRI revealed center Bam Adebayo has a neck strain on his left side, the Heat announced Thursday.
Dragic is Miami’s second-leading scorer in the playoffs, averaging 19.9 points, while Adebayo is third, averaging 17.8, and leading rebounder, pulling down 10.9 points per game.
Meyers Leonard started at center in place of Adebayo. His only previous appearance of the 2020 playoffs was an eight-minute, 51-second stint in a 115-100 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Sept. 4.
Leonard had seven points and no rebounds in 9:11. The Heat was outscored by eight when he was on the court.
Rookie Tyler Herro started at point guard, becoming the youngest player start a finals game at 20 years, 256 days old, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Herro had 17 points in 42:51, making five of 12 shots and all six free throws.
Miami’s starting lineup of Leonard, Herro, Butler, Duncan Robinson and Jae Crowder played two minutes together all season before Friday, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Forward Jimmy Butler was the Heat’s leading scorer with 25 points while forward Kelly Olynyk added 24 in 37:01 off the bench.
Three other Lakers finished in double figures — Rajon Rondo had 16 in 26:01 off the bench while starting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and reserve forward Kyle Kuzma each scored 11. Rondo had a team-high 10 assists.
Caldwell-Pope had the game’s best plus-minus, with the Lakers outscoring Miami by 14 in his 31:51 on the court.
The Lakers wore their “Black Mamba” jerseys Friday, improving to 4-0 in the 2020 playoffs wearing the uniforms designed in part by Bryant. They would also wear them if a seventh game is necessary.
The Lakers are seeking their 17th championship, which would tie the Boston Celtics for the all-time lead.
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