NBA Finals: LA Lakers cruise to victory in Game 1 as Miami Heat lose Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo to injury

NBA Finals: LA Lakers cruise to victory in Game 1 as Miami Heat lose Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo to injury

ORLANDO (REUTERS) – Anthony Davis scored 34 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers rolled to a 116-98 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the National Basketball Association Finals on Wednesday (Sept 30) near Orlando.

LeBron James had 25 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists for the Lakers.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 13 points, Danny Green chipped in 11 and Alex Caruso contributed 10 for Los Angeles.

Jimmy Butler had 23 points while Kendrick Nunn came off the bench to score 18 points for the Heat. Tyler Herro finished with 14 points, and Jae Crowder added 12.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is on Friday.

Injuries, in addition to the Lakers’ solid play, hurt the Heat. Miami lost guard Goran Dragic in the first half with a left foot injury, and he did not return. Centre Bam Adebayo also did not come back after leaving with a strained shoulder midway through the third quarter.

Dragic, who was averaging 20.9 points per game in the post-season entering the contest, finished with six points in 15 minutes. Adebayo, who was putting up 18.5 points and 11.4 rebounds per post-season contest, had eight points on 2-of-8 shooting in 21 minutes.

Butler tweaked his left ankle shortly before the end of the half when he rolled it on a drive to the bucket, but he continued to play.

The Lakers took control in the second quarter and blew the game open in the third. They began the third quarter on a 22-7 run for an 87-55 lead after a Davis dunk midway through the period. Los Angeles held a 93-67 edge heading into the fourth.

The Lakers, who trailed by as much as 13 in the first quarter, used a 13-0 surge capped by a Markieff Morris three-pointer for a 54-43 advantage with five minutes remaining in the second period. They increased the margin to 65-48 going into the break.

Los Angeles outscored Miami 34-20 in the second quarter.

Overall, the Lakers outshot the Heat 45.2 per cent to 42.7 per cent. Los Angeles made 25 of 27 foul shots while Miami were 11 of 14 at the line.