Miami Heat of America youngster, Bam Adebayo was missing from the court in the early hours of Saturday, and his side lost to Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of the 2020 National Basketbal Association (NBA) Finals, megasportsarena.com eports.
Without Adebayo in the pack, The Heat tried to hang around, but LA’s second straight victory felt inevitable,m as 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 their injured Nigerian-born center, 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:
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.
Miami shot 51 percent from the field, 41 percent from three and 91 percent on 34 free-throw attempts (twice as man as the Lakers) — and still was no match for an L.A. contingent who converted 28 of their 38 shots (74 percent) in the paint and grabbed 16 offensive rebounds.
Butler led the Heat with 25 points, a playoff career-high 13 assists and eight rebounds in 45 minutes.
“Like I said at the beginning of this thing, we got to play damn near perfect in order to beat those guys over there,” Butler said afterwards. We have yet to do it and if we don’t do it soon, it’s not going to be pretty.”