LeBron James has never seen a more “dominant duo” than Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.
But nearly two decades after Shaq and Kobe dominated the early 2000s with their three consecutive titles, the Los Angeles Lakers might have the closest thing to that legendary tandem. James and Anthony Davis dominated the Miami Heat for a second consecutive game, becoming the first pair of Lakers teammates since O’Neal and Bryant to each score more than 30 points in a Finals game.
In doing so, they led the Lakers to a 124-114 victory over the undermanned Heat on Friday in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The Lakers lead 2-0 in this best-of-seven NBA Finals, the first 2-0 series lead for James in a Finals in his career.
“Being in high school, watching the Kobe-Shaq duo was the most dominant duo that I have personally seen in my life from a basketball perspective,” James said. “Obviously we knew the force that Shaq brought to the table, but the elegance and force that Kobe played with as well. They were very dominant in what they did on the floor, on both sides of the floor.
“So to be in the conversation with those two guys, myself and AD, is just very humbling, because I grew up watching those guys. I grew up admiring Kobe, obviously, a kid coming straight out of high school. … And the force that Shaq played with. It’s very humbling that we can be even mentioned with those greats.”
James and Davis dismantled Miami’s zone defense with their playmaking. For the second straight game, James barely missed out on a triple-double, posting 33 points, 9 assists and 9 rebounds. And the Heat once again had no answer for Davis, who had 32 points on 15-of-20 shooting from the field and 14 rebounds.
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