CEBU CITY, Philippines — For a team as talented and as motivated as the LA Lakers, winning the Game 1 of the Best of 7 NBA Finals against Miami Heat was like a cakewalk, 116-98, at the AdventHealth Arena in Orlando, Florida, USA.
It was a disastrous Game 1 for the Heat who saw key players Bam Adebayo, Goran Dragic and Jimmy Butler hobbling with injuries, Erik Spoelstra had to dig deep especially with rookie sensation Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson struggling on offense.
The Lakers dominated the game except for the first five minutes of the game where the Heat jumped to a hot start for a 23-10 lead.
That lead did not live long as the Lakers bounced back strong with a 21-5 blitz to take a 31-28 lead in the opening quarter.
It was all Lakers from there, as the Los Angeles hurting Miami’s defense with triples and inside games.
From a 65-48 halftime lead, the Lakers logged its biggest lead at 32 points before the penultimate period ended on a 93-67 note.
The Heat brought down Lakers lead down to 109-96 before James scored a couple of baskets to cap another stellar performance.
Anthony Davis, who made his first appearance in the Finals top-scored in the game with 34 points to go with nine rebounds and five assists. LeBron James was one assist short in what could have been his 11th triple-double in the finals with 25 points, 13 rebounds and nine dimes for the Lakers.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 13 points, Danny Green made 11 and Alex Caruso sank 10 to help the Lakers inch closer to its 17th franchise title.
Jimmy Butler scored 23 points, Kendrick Nunn made up from a lackluster playoff scoring with 18 points, Herro finished with 14 and Jae Crowder knocked down a couple of treys to end up with 12 points for Miami.
The Lakers wrapped the series opener on a 38-of-84 shooting clip, including a 15-of-38 from the 3-point area, and a 24-of-27 free-throw shooting.
LA also outrebounded Miami 54-36, 26-23 in assists, 8-5 in blocks and 7-4 in steals. The Lakers had four more turnovers (12-8) than the Heat.
Game 2 will be on Friday, Oct. 2 (Saturday, Oct. 3 Phil. time). RCM