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NBA Finals: LeBron James and Lakers not satisfied after humbling Heat

By Sacha Pisani
LeBron James

Orlando, October 1: Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James refused to get carried away with his team's blow-out win over the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, insisting there is much more work to do.

The Lakers humbled the Heat 116-98 in the opening game of the showpiece showdown at Walt Disney World Resort on Wednesday.

James' Lakers led by as much as 32 points after trailing by 13 early in Orlando, Florida, where the Heat were no match for the Western Conference top seeds midweek.

NBA Finals: LeBron and Davis lead Lakers in Game 1 blowout of Heat

Anthony Davis posted a game-high 34 points, while James – making his 10th Finals appearance – had 25 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists.

Despite outclassing the Heat as the Lakers eye their first championship since 2010, James told reporters: "We have so much more work to do.

"The job is not done. We are not satisfied with winning one game. It's that simple."

"I don't think at the beginning we were physical enough," said three-time NBA champion James, who recorded his 31st career double-double in the Finals to move outright fourth in league history, after the Lakers went on a 75-30 run.

"You have to get a feel for how hard Miami play and I think they smacked us in the mouth. We had a sense of that, so we knew how hard we had to play to make it a game.

"From that moment when it was 23-10, we started to play to our capabilities. We started flying around, getting defensive stops, sharing the ball a lot better offensively and got into a really good groove."

Davis produced a huge performance in his first Finals appearance following a blockbuster trade from the New Orleans Pelicans at the start of the season.

He became the first Lakers player to post 30-plus points in the Finals since Kobe Bryant's 38 in Game 5 of the 2010 Finals.

Davis and James also became the first Lakers duo to each record 25-plus points in the same Finals game since Bryant (33) and Shaquille O'Neal (29) in Game 2 of the 2004 Finals.

"I expect it out of him. I didn't give him any advice. We have been preparing for this moment all season, he has been preparing all season," James said.

"I'm happy to be on the same floor and same uniform as him. Once again, he was a force in every facet of the game, both offensively and defensively."

The NBA Finals are taking place behind closed doors without fans amid the coronavirus pandemic, but James said: "It felt great, I've been preparing for this moment for quite a while.

"Fans or no fans, the inner challenge for myself and the way I prepare myself, it felt amazing to be playing the Finals once again."

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Story first published: Thursday, October 1, 2020, 11:30 [IST]
Other articles published on Oct 1, 2020