LeBron, AD too much heat for Miami to handle

Lakers big man Anthony Davis has reason to smile in his first NBA Finals appearance. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Lakers big man Anthony Davis has reason to smile in his first NBA Finals appearance. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

As hard as the Miami Heat tried to hang around, another Los Angeles Lakers victory felt inevitable.

Anthony Davis continues to embrace the stage in his first NBA Finals appearance, making a leap from superstardom to all-time greatness. The 27-year-old again had his way in a paint unprotected by injured Heat center Bam Adebayo, as the Lakers rolled to a 124-114 win and a 2-0 series lead on Friday night.

Davis converted 14 of his first 15 shot attempts, finishing with 32 points on 15-for-20 shooting and submitting a second straight Finals MVP-worthy performance. His only challenger through two games in that regard is LeBron James, the Lakers superstar who added 33 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.

Davis has been so dominant in his first playoffs with the Lakers that even Dwyane Wade — the Heat legend with whom James reached four straight Finals and won two titles — conceded the increasingly obvious:

“It’s a compliment to AD,” James told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols when presented with Wade’s assessment on the postgame broadcast. “He’s a big-time player. He understands the position that he’s in. He understands how much our team needs him, and he comes through. He doesn’t say much, but we know that he’s very determined to not only do what he needs to do individually but for the betterment of the team.”

The undermanned Heat hung within four points through the game’s first 18 minutes, patching together a zone defense missing Adebayo as its anchor and relying on Jimmy Butler’s ability to penetrate in order to manufacture offense without injured point guard Goran Dragic. But it was a house of cards against a Lakers team that was better at getting to the rim and creating open long-distance looks in Game 2. L.A. scored 56 points in the paint and hit 16 three-pointers — five more than the Heat — on a Finals record 47 attempts.

That the Heat trimmed what was an 18-point Lakers lead to single digits early in the fourth quarter and only trailed by 10 with 5:40 remaining felt like a miracle. Reserve center Kelly Olynyk contributed 24 points and nine rebounds in place of Adebayo, and Dragic’s backup ball-handlers, rookies Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn — combined for 30 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, but their patchwork defense was a disaster.

Check back soon for more details.

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Ben Rohrbach is a staff writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rohrbach_ben@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach

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