Anthony Davis got most of his points with a feathery shooting touch, while LeBron James flexed his muscle to bulldoze his way to damage and whenever the lead looked even the tiniest bit threatened, the Los Angeles Lakers had an answer in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Friday.
James finished with 33 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, while Davis made 14 of his first 15 shots on the way to 32 points as the Lakers took a 2-0 lead in the title series by beating the short-handed Miami Heat 124-114.
The Lakers shot 51 percent, making 16 consecutive shots from two-point range in a stretch that started late in the first quarter and ended late in the third.
James and Davis were the first Lakers duo to score at least 32 points in a finals game since Game 3 against New Jersey in 2002, when Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant did it.
“It’s very humbling that we can be even mentioned with those greats,” James said.
O’Neal and Bryant got rings that year.
James and Davis are two wins away.
“Those guys are playing at an extremely high level, and hopefully we can get two more wins,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said.
Jimmy Butler finished with 25 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds for Miami, who played without injured starters Bam Adebayo (neck and left shoulder) and Goran Dragic (torn left plantar fascia).
The Heat scored 39 points in the third quarter and that was only good enough to cut a 14-point halftime deficit to a 10-point hole going into the fourth, mainly because they just could not get enough stops.
“Look, I love these guys. I love the way we compete,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
“We have to figure out how to overcome this and get over the top,” Spoelstra said.
This is the 24th time that James has had a 2-0 series lead. His teams in Cleveland, Miami and Los Angeles are 23-0 in the previous instances. The last time the Lakers’ franchise have wasted a 2-0 lead was in the 1969 finals against the Boston Celtics.
“Until we win four games, we haven’t accomplished our goal,” Los Angeles guard Alex Caruso said.
“It’s been over a year together and we’ve talked about the same goal from day one. We’re still here chasing that same goal,” Caruso said.
“Until we get four wins, we’re staying hungry,” he said.
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