NBA Finals: Lakers double lead with 124-114 win over Heat
LeBron James hoped the Los Angeles Lakers made Kobe Bryant’s family “proud” as the team doubled their lead over the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals with a 124-114 win in Game Two.
James scored 33 points and Anthony Davis contributed 32, as the Lakers wore ‘Black Mamba’ uniforms in honour of Lakers legend Bryant.
The Lakers are now two wins away from their first NBA title since 2010.
Game three will take place in the NBA bubble on Sunday from 19:30h.
Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in January.
The Lakers are unbeaten while wearing the commemorative jersey and James said: “It is always special to represent someone who meant so much – not only to the game but obviously for the Lakers organisation for over 20 years.
“For us to honour him on the floor, this is what it is all about. We are thinking of the Bryant family and they are with us.
“We love you guys and hopefully we made them proud tonight.”
James had nine rebounds and nine assists as the Lakers led for the majority of the contest in the NBA bubble near Orlando, Florida, while the impressive Davis converted 15 of 20 shots.
The pair dominated a Heat defence missing the injured Bam Adebayo, and James said Davis, who is playing in his first NBA Finals, is a “big-time player”.
“He understands the position he is in and he comes through. He doesn’t say much but he is very determined to do what he needs to do individually, and to better the team,” added James.
Heat’s Tyler Herro created history in game two by becoming the youngest player to start in the NBA Finals, aged 20 years 256 days – beating the previous record, set by Magic Johnson in 1980.
Herro finished with 17 points as an injury-hit Heat, who were also missing Goran Dragic, outscored their opponents 39-35 in the third quarter to make a game of it. Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 25 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds.
Davis’ dunk in the final two minutes sealed the Lakers’ victory and James says his side “can be better” despite taking a 2-0 lead in the seven-game series.
“I’m looking forward to watching the game again to see ways in which we can be better,” he added. (BBC Sport)