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Lakers vs. Heat Game 3 Preview: Expect the unexpected

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With the Heat down 2-0, the Lakers can’t lose sight of their focus

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2020 NBA Finals - Game Two Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

On Friday night, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Miami Heat 124-114 to take a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals. They led for all but 53 seconds of the game and their biggest lead was 18 points. Miami’s biggest lead was two points.

The Lakers were happy to come away with the win, as it put them two wins closer to a championship, but they weren’t satisfied with their performance, particularly on the defensive end.

“We want to be great,” LeBron James said on Friday. “We want to be great, as close to 48 minutes as possible ... we have to continue to stay on our P’s and Q’s and cross our T’s and dot our I’s throughout the course of a game, and if we have a breakdown, being able to cover for one another. But they do a great job of putting your defense in positions that you may not be accustomed to.”

The Heat had two players finish Game 2 with more than 20 points, including Kelly Olynyk, who only played the 37 minutes he played because Bam Adebayo was unavailable. Olynyk was a DNP-CD twice in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Olynyk’s outburst was unexpected, but the Lakers have learned to expect the unexpected with this Miami Heat team.

“This team has shown in both games that they are able to fight back,” Anthony Davis said. “Even when they are down 20, 30, whatever it is, they are able to fight back and make plays. So we can’t get too high, especially with this team. They didn’t even have two of their top scorers, two of their best players. They always have that next-man-up mentality. They come every night, they play hard, they play physical, they play aggressive.

“We came in tonight and said this is a must-win for us. We’re going to come in the next game and say it’s a must-win, and the next game it’s a must-win and so on and so forth.”

The biggest question marks for the Heat going into Game 3 are Goran Dragic and Adebayo. Dragic and Adebayo missed Game 2 with their respective injuries, and while Dragic is still doubtful, Adebayo has been upgraded to questionable.

Even if Dragic and Adebayo do miss another game, the Lakers aren’t going to get ahead of themselves or lose their focus.

“Until we win four games, we haven’t accomplished our goal,” Caruso said. “It’s been over a year together and we’ve talked about the same goal from day one. We’re still here chasing that same goal. Until we get four wins, we’re staying hungry."

Notes and Updates

  • Anthony Davis (right heel contusion), Danny Green (volar plate injury, left ring finger) and LeBron James (sore right groin) are probable for Game 1.
  • The Heat originally listed Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic as doubtful, but both have now been ruled out.

The Lakers and Heat will tip-off at 4:30 p.m. on ABC. You can also sign up to watch the game on fuboTV here.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.