(Reuters) - Miami Heat players insisted their team can bounce back from a tough loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, despite injuries that sidelined two of their top playmakers during Wednesday’s 116-98 defeat.
Point guard Goran Dragic, who suffered a torn plantar fascia to his left foot, and forward Bam Adebayo, who suffered a neck strain, were both were doubtful to participate in Game 2 on Friday, Miami said on Thursday.
“When it rains, it pours. All in all, though, we’re still expected to win,” said All-Star forward Jimmy Butler, who also rolled his ankle but managed to finish the game, which was played inside the NBA’s quarantined campus in Orlando, Florida.
“Obviously we definitely need those two guys, don’t get me wrong,” Butler told reporters. “But I’ve always said, next man up when a man goes down, and right now we’re definitely going to have to do that.”
The Lakers drained 11 three-pointers in the first half to obliterate the Heat’s early 13-point lead and complete a 30-point turnaround on Wednesday, as Miami’s defense was unable to match the intensity of 16-time All-Star LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the night’s leading scorer with 34 points.
Twenty-year-old guard Tyler Herro said the possibility of Dragic and Adebayo missing Game 2 was disappointing - “because we know how hard those guys work,” he said - but that the team would have to adapt.
“At the end of the day it’s next man up. We’re hoping that those guys are healthy and can get back, but we’ve got to compete,” Herro told reporters. “We have a job to do. Whoever is out there, that’s who we’re going to have to do it with.”
Reporting by Amy Tennery; editing by Richard Pullin
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