Washington: The LA Lakers made their intentions loud and clear in the 2020 NBA Finals with a dominating 116-98 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 1 late Wednesday (September 30). The Heat took an early 13-point but that was it. Post the first six minutes of the game, the Lakers took control of the game and closed the first quarter on a 19-3 run. At one point, it became 75-30.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel too agreed that the team got off to a slow start but lauded his bench for turning the tide. “Kuzma and Rondo came in and Alex, those guys brought great energy. Helped us get stops and get out on the break some. Rondo orchestrated a few buckets for us and helped turn the game around,” said Vogel.
LeBron James (25p, 13r, 9a) too agreed that run from Miami was like a wake-up call for his team. “From that moment when it was 23-10, 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,” explained James.
For Lakers, Anthony Davis was the star with 34 points, nine rebounds and five assists. James was happy he was on the same team as Davis. “I’m happy to be on the same floor with him and in the same uniform. He was, once again, a force in every facet of the game, offensively and defensively,” he said.
Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra had a tough night. Not only his team was outplayed but he had to also deal with injuries to key players. He emphasized on the cliché of every possession counts. “There were too many possessions where it was either a poor offensive possession or a miss that led to a couple of poor possessions defensively or vice versa, and those stacked on top of each other can get away from you pretty quickly against a very good team like this,” said Spoelstra.
Heat’s All-Star forward Jimmy Butler, who hurt his ankle during the second quarter, was unfazed with the injury updates. And he was told about Goran Dragic’s torn plantar fascia during the post-game press conference.
“(We will) Be ready to go with or without Goran. We’re still expecting to win. We still know that we can. Like I said earlier, we want that guy out there with us. He’s a big part of what we’re trying to do, but until we can have him back, we got to go out there and we got to fight even harder,” said Butler.