Andre Iguodala became the 10th player in NBA history to appear in six straight Finals on Wednesday, though you could argue the Miami Heat never really showed up. The Los Angeles Lakers cruised to a 116-98 victory in Orlando to open the best-of-seven series.
The Heat jumped out to an early 13-point lead, but it was all Lakers from there. They led by 17 at the half and saw their lead grow to as many as 32 before the Heat chipped away in the fourth quarter. Since this is an Arizona Wildcats website, we’re going to give the credit to Lakers assistants Miles Simon and Quinton Crawford for making the necessary adjustments. Try to stop us.
Iguodala filled up the stat sheet with seven points, six assists, five rebounds and a block on a LeBron James layup in 25 minutes off the bench. Iguodala passed Cliff Hagan for 79th on the all-time playoffs rebounds list with 745, passed Julius Erving for 42nd on the all-time playoffs assists list with 595, and tied John Starks for 29th on the all-time playoffs 3-pointers list with 176.
Iggy, who shot 3 for 7 with one triple, also had this tip slam to fuel the Heat’s hot start:
Solomon Hill had four points and three rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench.
To make matters worse for Miami, they saw a few key players sustain injuries. First it was Jimmy Butler turning his ankle late in the first half. Then it was Goran Dragic injuring his left foot and Bam Adebayo straining his shoulder. Butler was the only one to return to the game.
So it looks like Iggy’s quest for a fourth ring will be the most difficult one yet.
Game 2 is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 2 at 6 p.m. PT on ABC.
What they’re saying about Arizona’s guys on social media
Andre Iguodala passed up a wide open three for a pull-up mid-range jumper and had the ball smacked away from him. He deserved that.— Justin Russo (@FlyByKnite) October 1, 2020
Andre Iguodala has a +/- of -27 in 14 minutes. LeBron remembered Iguodala winning a Finals MVP just for slowing him down a little and has decided to ruin the man’s life in response.— Classic GBI (@GreatBigIdiot) October 1, 2020
Solomon Hill actually the fourth highest-paid Heat as per @hoopshype which is bonkers.— Russ Bengtson (@russbengtson) October 1, 2020
Solomon Hill bout to get minutes that’s how bad it is— Kee (@Kee_Bully19) October 1, 2020
Heat just need to get through this game without any more injuries.— Matt Brodsky (@MattSBrodsky) October 1, 2020
Put Solomon Hill in...at all 5 positions.
I’ll use these closing moments to tell you to watch Solomon Hill when on defense and when he does not have the ball so you can appreciate why he is still around and valued by an NBA Finals team he just joined.— Kevin Zimmerman (@KZimmermanAZ) October 1, 2020