Nearly four full months back, before the Board of Governors approved the 22-team restart in a bubble in Orlando, nobody knew if this was possible and yet here it was - Game 1 of the 2020 NBA Finals.
The contest was one-sided, especially in the second half with the Los Angeles Lakers dominating their way to a comfortable 116-98 Game 1 win.
Here's a quick recap of Game 1 of the Finals, told through images:
Prior to tip-off, both teams lined up along the sideline as National Anthem was played.
Game 1 of the 2020 NBA Finals was officiated by the four-man crew of Kane Fitzgerald, Marc Davis, Josh Tiven and Eric Lewis.
Marc Davis (second from left) is the most-experienced of the quartet, officiating his 9th NBA Finals. For Fitzgerald and Lewis, it was their second Finals while Tiven (second from right) was officiating his first Finals.
Mama Bam is in the house
Bam Adebayo's mother kept her promise of visiting the bubble and watching her son play if the Miami Heat reached the NBA Finals. She was in attendance, holding a 'Mama Bam' sign.
"That's my rock... that's who I do it for, that's my pride and joy," Adebayo said of his mom at the Eastern Conference Championship presentation.
Green, KCP spark Lakers comeback
3-point shooting was a huge reason for the Lakers bouncing back from a double-digit first quarter deficit, building a lead by halftime.
Barring Dwight Howard, all the other Lakers that entered the game knocked down at least one 3-pointer. Danny Green, Anthony Davis and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope knocked two apiece in the first half.
As a team, the Lakers shot 11-of-17 from beyond the arc in the first half.
The Lakers are the first team to trail by double digits then lead by double digits at the end of the 1st half in a Finals game in the play-by-play era (since 1996-97). pic.twitter.com/BzOD5v7B0F- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 1, 2020
Lakers' All-Stars dominate
While Anthony Davis stole a majority of the headlines with his stellar Finals debut, LeBron James wasn't far behind. While Davis finished with 34 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three blocks, James nearly had his 11th Finals triple-double with 25 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists.
Injuries wreak havoc for Heat
After a strong first half, Jimmy Butler rolled his ankle in the closing seconds of the second quarter. Although he stayed on the court and played in the second half, he didn't seem as assertive.
"A little bit sore.... but I'm going to be fine," said Butler postgame.
The Heat suffered more serious injuries. Centre Adebayo didn't return to the court after heading to the locker room following a collision with Dwight Howard in the third quarter. According to ESPN's Malika Andrews, the X-rays for his shoulder strain have come back negative and his status for Game 2 is unclear.
Starting point guard Goran Dragic also left the game, in what was later reported to be a torn plantar fascia in his left foot, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Star-studded virtual crowd
Under normal circumstances, the NBA Finals are where we saw numerous celebrities flocking to courtside seats to see the two best teams go at each other. This year, there were no courtside seats but there were virtual crowds and Game 1 boasted a star-studded group headlined by former U.S. President Barack Obama.
There were multiple NBA legends among them, including James Worthy and Shaquille O'Neal - who were seated next to Obama - as well as Manu Ginobli, Ray Allen, Robert Horry, Robert Parish, Bill Walton, Clyde Drexler, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade, Isiah Thomas, Julius Erving, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Chauncey Billups, Paul Pierce and Pau Gasol, who was rocking a Black Mamba edition No. 8 Kobe Bryant jersey.
Nunn finds some rhythm
After starting all the regular season games he played, Nunn didn't start even one contest in the postseason. In fact, prior to Game 1, he had only played a combined 104 minutes across nine playoff games and received DNPs in the other six.
In this game, with the result more or less decided early into the second half, Nunn got a lot more court time and he made use of it. In 20 minutes, he finished with 18 points, five rebounds and two assists on 8-of-11 shooting from the field.
Nunn was the lone bright spot in the Heat's lopsided loss.
The 'job's not done' walk-off
Despite registering a dominant Game 1 win where the Lakers led by as many as 32 points, James knew it all still counts for just one win and nothing more.
"The job is not done and we're not satisfied with winning one game. It's that simple," James said postgame. Of James' now 10 Finals appearances, this was only the second time his team had won Game 1 (the other being 2011).
Both teams will suit-up once again for Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Friday, Oct. 2nd at 9:00 p.m. ET. Can the Lakers extend their series lead or will the Heat strike back to level it up?
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