The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat 124-114 on Friday night to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals.
Late in the first quarter of the game, with LA holding a six-point advantage, a particularly funny sequence of events occurred.
It all started with Kyle Kuzma driving into the paint and attempting what can only be described as a Magic Johnson-like pass.
When it predictably failed, LeBron James and Anthony Davis had a priceless response.
Fans found the entire series to be especially funny because of a quote James offered Kuzma last year regarding players not standing up when they fall, but being lifted up by their teammates.
“Anytime you fall, stay down,” he said at the time. “Your brother will come pick you up”
Obviously that didn’t happen this time around.
Kuzma ended up with 11 points on 3 of 8 shooting, 2 rebounds and 1 assist in 22 minutes off the bench on Friday night. His +/- of +5 was more or less in line with Dwight Howard’s +5 and Danny Green’s +4.
After the game, Kuzma spoke to the media regarding what he feels his place is on this Lakers team.
“I’m just embracing my role,” he said.
“It’s never about scoring right now, especially with the role I’m in,” Kuzma continued.
“It’s just really about coming in and playing with energy, get stops defensively. When my number is called just be ready. I think that’s what I did tonight.”
“I’m embracing my role.”
— NBA TV (@NBATV) October 3, 2020
Although Kuzma never quite grew into the No. 3 option many were hoping he would become for LA, he still plays a valuable part off the bench for what appears to be a championship squad.
Game 3 between the Lakers and Heat is scheduled for Sunday.
If Miami doesn’t pull out a victory in that one, the series is all but over. No NBA team has ever come back from being down 3-0 in a best of seven series to win it all.