NBA: Anthony Davis dominates in first ever Finals game


Posted at Oct 01 2020 01:11 PM

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) drives to the basket against Miami Heat forward Jae Crowder (99) during the third quarter in game one of the 2020 NBA Finals at AdventHealth Arena. Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.

Anthony Davis showed no signs of nerves in his first-ever NBA Finals game, as he powered the Los Angeles Lakers to a 1-0 lead over the Miami Heat.

Davis put up 34 points after making 11 of his 21 shots from the field, as well as all 10 of his free throw attempts. He added nine rebounds, five assists, and three blocks as the Lakers routed the Heat, 116-98.

His 34 points were the third most by a Laker in his Finals debut, just behind Shaquille O'Neal (43 points) and George Mikan (42 points), and tied with Elgin Baylor.

It was Davis who gave the Lakers their biggest lead of the game, 87-55, when he completed a slam dunk with six minutes left in the third quarter. 

Watch the highlights of Davis' performance: 

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"I felt good. First NBA finals game, obviously the nerves were there, a little nervous. But when the ball's tipped up, we just go out there and play basketball," Davis said after the game.

Davis dominated his match-up with Miami's Bam Adebayo, as he drew two early fouls on the opposing big man while overwhelming the Heat's other post defenders. 

He gave credit to his teammates for putting him in the right spots, and singled out veteran guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for "saving" the team with two big three-pointers in the first quarter that sparked the Lakers.

They had fallen behind by 13 points early, before Caldwell-Pope's triples got them back on track. 

"I just try to go out there and be comfortable, knowing that this is the moment I waited for my entire career. Now I'm here and I'm maximizing the opportunity, because it doesn't come around too often," said Davis.

He also stressed that the Lakers cannot let up during the game. The Heat had trimmed the deficit to 20 points in the fourth quarter thanks to big shots from Kendrick Nunn, and Davis said they cannot afford to do the same thing in Game 2.

"If we wanna win the championship, we wanna be better. Championship mindset for the whole 48 minutes," he said. 

"(We have to) keep fighting," he also said. "They're a great team, they're here for a reason. This team plays hard, it plays scrappy. They've got a lot of guys who can make plays for them… (If) we wanna win this series, and become champions, we have to play better from the start."