LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Anthony Davis got most of his points with a feathery shooting touch. 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.
The NBA Finals are halfway to a coronation.
James finished with 33 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, Davis made 14 of his first 15 shots on the way to 32 points, and the Lakers took a 2-0 lead in the title series by beating the short-handed Miami Heat 124-114 on Friday night. The Lakers shot 51%, making 16 consecutive shots from 2-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.
Shaq and Kobe 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, which 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 couldn’t 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.
Game 3 is Sunday night. It’s unclear if Dragic, Adebayo or both could return; each lobbied to play Friday night, before the Heat had to make the call to keep them sidelined.
It’s also unclear how much it will matter.