Lakers 9-18 Heat, 5:26, 1st quarter
Davis hasn’t taken a shot yet and the Lakers turn it over twice more. Dwight Howard fouls Duncan Robinson, who makes two free throws.
Lakers 9-16 Heat, 7:00, 1st quarter
And they commit another turnover, as Anthony Davis loses a ball out of bounds. The Heat can’t take advantage on their end and Crowder picks up his second foul, putting LeBron on the free throw line. He misses the first but makes the second.
Andre Iguodala is in to replace Crowder.
Four Lakers turnovers already, maybe they were reading the pre-game hype. They can’t keep the Heat for granted, even if they are missing their 2nd and 3rd best players.
Lakers 8-16 Heat, 7:31, 1st quarter
And then Jae Crowder hits another three, if the Heat are going to win they’re going to have to be making those consistently.
James finds Dwight Howard for a dunk as a response… and then straight scores from Miami: Leonard, Duncan Robinson and Butler all score with Butler’s dunk being enough to force the Lakers into an early timeout.
Lakers 6-7 Heat, 8:55, 1st quarter
Okay Meyers Leonard is going to make the first three-pointer of the game, I would not have bet on that. The Heat are now in front.
Lakers 6-4 Heat, 10:10, 1st quarter
Tyler Herro responds to get the Heat on the board. James hits two shots, in-between a Jimmy Butler dunk.
Lakers 2-0 Heat, 11:34, 1st quarter
Dwight Howard with a layup to get things started.
So what are we watching this game for, anyway? Well, in the absence of a realistic chance at drama, the broadcast is emphasizing just how amazing LeBron and AD have been this series. The latest spin has been that Davis is the best player that James has every played with.
This may not be an explicit dismissal of Kyrie Irving, but I’m taking it to be one.
Alright the preshow is over, we’re going to get some real basketball shortly. “Most people think (the Heat) are going to get swept,” Mike Breen says.
That is very much correct but this is not really the best way to introduce this broadcast to the casual fans.
And now they are comparing LeBron and AD to Kobe and Shaq. I’m not quite sold, if only because they don’t seem to utterly despise each other off the court.
The best part of the Finals being on ABC is that those of us who have been watching ESPN and TNT nonstop throughout this Bubble Season are finally getting a break from the 10 or so commercials that have been running nonstop the last few months. I am sure Idina Menzel is a lovely person but I do not want to hear her singing “taxidermy” ever again.
The Tweet that sums up the first two games of the 2020 Finals:
Adam Silver is talking with Rachel Nichols on the pregame show now, talking about when the next season will begin. He’s saying that the earliest would be Christmas, but it’s far more likely that it would later than that. He points out it’s based on events well out of the league’s control.
“The virus will decide,” he says. Maybe our leaders will figure that out eventually, but I’m just a lowly blogger so what do I know?
A true wise man is he who knows that he knows nothing:
Well, I had Lakers over Bucks, so like half-credit for me?
Okay, so let’s get this out of the way” this game is almost certainly going to be another blowout win for the Lakers. The Heat might be able to keep it close until halftime, but eventually, LA will bury them. I have never been more confident in my life. Does anybody think the Heat win another game in this series? Will we even have a tight final score in either tonight’s game or Tuesday’s Game 4?
If you believe, I’d love to hear your arguments because goodness knows it’s a lot more fun to liveblog when there’s actually some drama going on. Despite all odds, the NBA Bubble has been a huge success and a welcome distraction when I think we have all desperately needed one, and it would be a shame if it ended with an anticlimactic, onesided Finals that was mostly decided by injuries. You can chime in either through email (to Hunter.Felt.Freelance@theguardian.com) or Twitter (to @HunterFelt).
Throughout their time in the Bubble (a.k.a. Walt Disney World in Orlando), NBA players have been going out of their way to express themselves. So it makes sense that the Lakers’ Anthony Davis showed up for Game 3 wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey.
Meanwhile, in the WNBA Finals, the Seattle Storm took a 2-0 series lead over the Las Vegas Aces with a 104-91 win. Since this is a five-game series, there’s a very good chance that the Storm could wrap up the WNBA season in Tuesday’s Game 3. Combine that with the knowledge that the Lakers could also be looking to clinch a title that day, it’s well within the realm of possibility that this will serve as the end of basketball for the foreseeable future. I won’t lie, that’s a tad bit of a bummer. (Although goodness knows there’s enough going on in the rest of the world to keep us occupied.)
Not to overstate things, but this might be a particularly important game for the Miami Heat, who have dropped their first two games against the Los Angeles Lakers here in the NBA Finals. Why? Well, here’s a complete list of NBA teams who have dropped 0-3 in a seven-game series and gone on to win the whole thing:
Yes, that’s correct, not a single team has done it and it would be a massive undertaking against this Lakers team in particular. It hasn’t helped that Miami didn’t have Bam Adebayo, dealing with a neck injury, or Goran Dragic, who has a plantar fascia injury, in Game 2. Leader Jimmy Butler has been forced to deal with a very thin lineup as they attempted to pull off what was always going to be a tall task.
Adebayo and Dragic have both been listed as “out” for tonight’s game, meaning that Butler is going to have to carry the team, someone else on the Heat will have to rise to the occasion and, well, the Lakers have a sloppy game. Even if the Heat play at the best of their abilities, it may not be enough. LeBron James is looking for his fourth championship and Anthony Davis might have already clinched the Finals MVP. The talent disparity might just be too great for it to make much of a difference.
Still, that’s why they play the games, as they say. As always, we want to hear from you throughout today’s NBA Finals action: what are your thoughts on the Finals, or this entire strange basketball season? Send them to us, either via email (to Hunter.Felt.Freelance@theguardian.com) or on Twitter (to @HunterFelt). We’ll use them here. It’s Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers! We’re scheduled to start around 7:30pm EST, but I’ll be back before then.
Hunter will be here shortly, in the meantime here’s what happened in Game 2:
Anthony Davis got most of his points with a feathery shooting touch. LeBron James flexed his muscle to bulldoze his way to damage. And whenever the lead looked even the tiniest bit threatened, the Los Angeles Lakers had an answer.
The NBA finals are halfway to a coronation.
James finished with 33 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, Davis made 14 of his first 15 shots on the way to 32 points, and the Lakers took a 2-0 lead in the title series by beating the shorthanded Miami Heat 124-114 on Friday night. The Lakers shot 51%, making 16 consecutive shots from two-point range in a stretch that started late in the first quarter and ended late in the third.
James and Davis were the first Lakers duo to score at least 32 points in a finals game since Game 3 against New Jersey in 2002, when Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant did it.