National Basketball Association
L.A. Lakers 124, Miami 114
When: 9:00 PM ET, Friday, October 2, 2020
Where: AdventHealth Arena, Orlando, Florida
#19 James Capers, #16 David Guthrie, #42 Eric Lewis
Even though the Lakers took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven NBA Finals against the Miami Heat on Friday, Los Angeles stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis believe their team can perform at a higher level.
"We know we can be a lot better," James said. "Myself and (Davis) were not satisfied with just a win. We want to be great."
James had 33 points, Davis contributed 32, and the Lakers earned a 124-114 victory over the Heat in Game 2 near Orlando.
James also had nine rebounds and nine assists for the Lakers, who led for the majority of the contest. Davis, who converted 15 of 20 shots, grabbed 14 rebounds. Rajon Rondo added 16 points and 10 assists while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Kyle Kuzma chipped in 11 points apiece.
"We definitely were not happy with our performance defensively tonight," said James, who connected on 14 of 25 shots from the floor and 3 of 8 from 3-point range. "We know we'll be better in Game 3."
Game 3 is Sunday.
Jimmy Butler had 25 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds while Kelly Olynyk collected 24 points and nine rebounds for the Heat. Tyler Herro, 20, who replaced Magic Johnson as the youngest player to start in the Finals, finished with 17 points for the Heat, who played without center Bam Adebayo (shoulder strain) and guard Goran Dragic (plantar fascia tear in left foot).
Miami's Kendrick Nunn had 13 points and Jae Crowder added 12.
The Lakers went up by as much as 18 in the third quarter, but the Heat kept hanging around. A three-point play by Olynyk and two foul shots by Herro with 48.8 seconds left in the period cut the gap to 100-91 before a 3-pointer by Rondo pushed the lead to double digits again.
The Lakers led 103-93 heading into the fourth quarter. Davis scored 15 points in the third.
Miami failed to get closer than nine points in the fourth quarter despite having several chances to do so.
"In those moments of truth, when we had opportunities to get the game closer, it usually seemed to end up in some kind of offensive rebound or something near the basket," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. "But this is the deal: If you want something badly enough, you'll figure out how to overcome it."
The Heat will need plenty in Game 3 to overcome the Lakers. Davis, though, said the Lakers aren't taking anything for granted despite the Heat being without two of their best players.
"We came in tonight and said it was a must-win for us and we're going to come in the next game and say this is a must-win and the next game is a must-win and so on and so forth," Davis said. "We know what this team is capable of."
A layup by Crowder pulled the Heat within 47-43 with 4:38 remaining in the second quarter. However, three free throws by Kuzma capped a 9-2 Los Angeles run for a 56-45 advantage with 3:06 left in the half.
Miami sliced the margin to 10 before Los Angeles went up 68-54 at the break. Davis scored 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting to help the Lakers outshoot the Heat 55.3 percent to 44.7 percent in the first half.
Overall, the Heat barely outshot 50.7 percent to 50.5 percent for the Lakers. The Lakers, though, attempted a season-high 47 3-pointers, making 16, to 11 of 27 success for the Heat.
Los Angeles owned a slight edge in rebounds (44-37) but dictated on the offensive end with a 16-6 advantage.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Jimmy Butler 25
LeBron James 33
Jimmy Butler 13
Rajon Rondo 10
Kelly Olynyk 9
Anthony Davis 14
Jimmy Butler 11
||Free Throws Made
Kyle Kuzma 3
Jimmy Butler 1
Danny Green 2
Kendrick Nunn 1
Dwight Howard 2
Team Stats Summary
L.A. Lakers will play their next game on the road against Miami. The Lakers have a W/L % of .774 after a win and .611 after a loss.
Miami will play their next game at home against L.A. Lakers. The Heat have a W/L % of .500 after a win and .759 after a loss.