Los Angeles Lakers run away from banged-up Miami Heat in Game 1 of NBA Finals

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Anthony Davis shined in his NBA Finals debut, LeBron James had a near-triple-double in his 50th Finals game and the Lakers treated the 3-point line like a layup line for two-plus quarters.

Davis had 34 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three blocks, and James scored 25 points, procured 13 rebounds and delivered nine assists in Los Angeles’ 116-98 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday.

While the Lakers ended up at 39.5% shooting on 3-pointers, they shot 64.7% from 3 in the first half when they pummeled the Heat.

“Paying attention to detail,” James said. “I don’t think in the beginning that we were physical enough. You have to get a feel for how hard Miami plays. I think they smacked us in the mouth, and we got a sense of that. And so we knew how hard we had to play if we wanted to try to make it a game.

“From that moment when it was 23-10 (Heat), we started to play to our capabilities. We started flying around. We started getting defensive stops. We started sharing the ball a lot better offensively and just got into a really good groove.”

It’s just one game, but the Heat found themselves with multiple problems defensively, and Miami coach Erik Spoelstra and his staff need to tinker with assignments and schemes. Of course, stopping Davis and James poses problems for every team.

The Lakers exploited mismatches. For all their offensive prowess, Miami’s Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro, Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder had trouble defensively.

Los Angeles’ size and athleticism also presented a problem. The Lakers outrebounded Miami 54-36, and Miami had to continually foul the Lakers, who were 25-for-27 on foul shots.

“The Lakers set the tenor, the tone, the force, the physicality, for the majority of the game, and they just took control and we weren’t able to get it back,” Spoelstra said.

Making matters worse for Miami, point guard Goran Dragic exited the game in the second quarter with a left foot injury and didn’t return, and center Bam Adebayo played just 21 minutes and wasn’t on the Heat’s bench for the final 18 minutes with a strained left shoulder.


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