Anthony Davis: Lakers Lacked ‘Championship Mentality’ Closing Out Game 1

The Los Angeles Lakers got off to a strong start in the NBA Finals, crushing the Miami Heat 116-98 in Game 1. But the team’s leaders LeBron James and Anthony Davis were not fully satisfied with the outcome of the contest.

The Lakers were sluggish early in the first quarter, resulting in a 13-point Heat lead. And even though L.A. then went on a 75-30 run and reached a game-high 32-point advantage, Miami managed to cut it back to 13 in the fourth quarter.

“I think you can learn so much more from a win than you can in a loss,” James said.

The Lakers were determined to draw first blood knowing of Miami’s ability to erupt at any point in a game. And with some frustration over a lackadaisical close to Game 1, James was going to keep a particularly close eye on the video.

“I’m extremely amped up about watching the film with our ballclub,” he said. “I’m going to watch some tonight obviously by myself, but I’m looking forward to getting together as a group tomorrow.”

And Davis, who scored a game-high 34 points in his NBA Finals debut, agreed with his All-Star teammate. “We’re not satisfied. We don’t like how we ended the game,” Davis said.

“That wasn’t a championship mentality, and you know, we have to be better in that regard. But we’ll take the win, but we’ll watch film and try to take advantage, as well.”

Vogel: We have a lot of respect for Miami

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel struck a similar, cautious note on his team’s performance in Game 1. He praised L.A. for its motivation in clawing the lead back from Miami’s hands and then sealing the victory.

But Vogel added the Lakers have to avoid the complacency that could creep in after a win considering the Heat’s overall quality.

“We always guard against that but in particular because of how much respect we have for this basketball team, not just their starting group but for their bench,” he said. “We are happy that we got one win but obviously we have to keep our foot on the gas.”

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