ORLANDO (Reuters) – Los Angeles Lakers All-Star forward Anthony Davis has waited his entire career to reach the National Basketball Association Finals, and in Game 1 on Wednesday (Sept 30), he showed he’ll be making the most of it.
The leading scorer in the Lakers’ 116-98 win over the Miami Heat, Davis put up 34 points – tied for the third-highest Laker debut in the Finals – nine rebounds and five assists, adding heft to a formidable Los Angeles offence.
“Obviously, (I) want to come out and play well and you want to come out and win. I’ve always put pressure on myself,” Davis told reporters.
“Your adrenaline is going early because you’re so excited just to be here and get ready to go out there and play.”
Davis came to the Lakers in the most recent off-season after a public rift with the New Orleans Pelicans, who had drafted him first overall in 2012, joining forces with 16-time All-Star LeBron James, whose camp Davis attended when he was a teenager.
While Davis’ performance undoubtedly impressed many, 35-year-old James, who is gunning for a fourth NBA title this year, said it’s simply what he’s come to expect from his teammate.
“He’s been preparing for this moment all season. I’m happy to be on the same floor with him and in the same uniform,” said James. “He was, once again, a force in every facet of the game, offensively and defensively.”
The Lakers face the Heat in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Friday.