For the first time in his career, LeBron James took a 2-0 series lead in the NBA Finals after he and the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in Game 2.
The Heat were undermanned as Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic were forced to sit after sustaining injuries in Game 1. Myers Leonard and Tyler Herro started in their place, but were no match for a Laker team that was happy to take advantage of their size and strength in the painted area.
Anthony Davis had a monstrous shooting night as he converted on 15-of-20 of his looks from the field, simply overpowering Miami near the basket. Davis was also effective from the midrange area, showing off his stroke in the third quarter with a string of buckets over smaller Heat defenders.
Davis scored 32 points and 14 rebounds in 40 minutes of action, strengthening his case for a possible Finals MVP honor.
James had himself another strong performance in the Finals as well, controlling the offense to perfection. James did not record a single turnover in his 38 minutes, an absurd stat considering how stingy the Heat can be on defense.
For the second straight game, he nearly recorded a triple-double (33 points, nine rebounds, nine assists) while shooting 14-of-25 from the field.
Rajon Rondo was a massive boost to the Lakers, particularly with how he was able to dissect Miami’s zone from the middle of the floor. Rondo had a double-double of his own (16 points, 10 assists) with some of his dimes coming from perfectly thrown lobs to the Laker bigs.
Rondo’s passing has always been his best trait, but his outside shooting has given L.A. another weapon offensively. The veteran point guard is shooting 44% from distance in the postseason and that continued as he drained 3-of-4 from downtown in Game 2.
Despite the Lakers’ overwhelming size advantage, it was the Heat who would convincingly win the free throw battle. Miami hit 31-of-34 attempts at the charity stripe compared to the Lakers only going 10-for-17.
The Lakers allowed the Heat to hang around as they were ice cold for most of the night from three, hitting a paltry 16-of-47. Zone defenses encourage 3-point shooting and L.A. was happy to settle for them when given the opportunity.
Next for Lakers
While it is unclear whether or not Dragic and Adebayo will be ready to go for Game 3, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel and his staff will need to game plan as if they will be in the lineup.
Miami is a resilient team who will not shrink despite the 2-0 deficit they face, and Los Angeles will need to match their intensity and effort when Game 3 tips off.
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