Heavy favorites Los Angeles Lakers overcame a sluggish start to dismantle the Miami Heat 116-98 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday.
The Heat got a 13-point leg up in the first quarter but the lead was shortlived, as the Lakers drained 11 three-pointers to complete a 30-point turnaround and close out the first half, while Miami's defense evaporated inside the NBA's quarantined Orlando, Florida, campus.
The Lakers kept the pressure up as two of the Heat's biggest playmakers - point guard Goran Dragic and forward Bam Adebayo - exited the game with injuries.
Dragic, Miami's leading scorer in the post-season, suffered a foot injury in the second quarter, while Adebayo left in the third with a shoulder strain after twice colliding with Lakers center Dwight Howard.
Sixteen-time All-Star LeBron James, competing in his 50th NBA Finals game, scored 25 points with 13 rebounds and nine assists, while Anthony Davis scored 34 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 13 points, Danny Green chipped in 11 and Alex Caruso contributed 10 for the victors.
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said afterwards that the Lakers' physical edge was the difference between the sides.
"The Lakers set the tenor, the force, the physicality for the majority of thegame and they just took control and we weren't able to get it back," Spoelstrasaid.
From the Lakers' perspective, it is a case of simply a good start.
"We've got so much more work to do," James said. "The job is not done andwe're not satisfied with winning one game. It's that simple."
Injuries, in addition to the Lakers' solid play, hurt the Heat. Miami lost guard Goran Dragic in the first half with a left foot injury, and he did not return. Center Bam Adebayo also did not come back after leaving with a strained shoulder midway through the third quarter.
Their status for Game 2 on Friday is unknown.