In an exciting game that went all the way to the last second, the Warriors beat the Lakers 117-115. The Dubs were led by the splash brothers Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Klay had his best game this season, scoring 33 points on 54.5% shooting. Steph had a good game too with 24 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds. The warriors also had 3 other players with double-digit scoring – Andrew Wiggins – 19 points, 5 rebounds, Jordan Poole – 11 points, 4 assists, and rookie Jonathan Kuuminga who had 18 points and 9 rebounds.
The Warriors took the lead in the 1st quarter and had a 15 point lead 2 minutes into the second quarter. But when the game looked like the usual Lakers blowout, the Lakers fought back and managed to make it a 3 point game at the end of the half. The Warriors were without their best defender and leader Draymond Green who has missed a few games because of a disc injury in his lower back. The Warriors have still managed to win games without their All-star due to the depth on their roster.
The 3rd quarter was close throughout the period, with both teams trading buckets and playing with great defensive tenacity. The Warriors looked like they have all season but the Lakers looked like a completely different team. They played great defence and played with a lot of energy as well. The quarter ended 94-95 with the Warriors leading by 1.
A key contributor on the Lakers side was the Austin Reaves. The rookie was huge defensively and also contributed offensively by scoring 13 points. He brings a lot to the team that doesn’t show up on a stat sheet. If the Lakers want to be successful he must be used more in the rotation and get more minutes.
Russell Westbrook also had a good game, which was a welcome sight after his recent struggles. The point guard had 19 points, 5 assists, and 7 rebounds in the game. He played with great energy as well and it seemed like the Lakers have figured out how to use him effectively. He did not take many jumpers and attacked the rim to score. Of all the Laker starters he was the only one with a positive +/- (2). The Lakers also had double-digit scoring from Malik Monk (12), Anthony Davis (16), and Talen Horton Tucker (17). Anthony Davis was huge defensively as well with 3 blocks.
The Lakers took the lead at the beginning of the 4th quarter and held it till the 6-minute mark. That’s when Klay Thompson took over the game. The 5-time All-star and 3-time champion scored 16 points in the quarter to help the Warriors take the lead. With 46 seconds left, the warriors were up 3 after a layup from Steph Curry. The Lakers came off the timeout and ran an inbounds play. While they couldn’t get a good look, LeBron managed to draw a foul outside the 3 point line and got to shoot 3 free throws to tie the game.
Unfortunately one of the most clutch players in the game could not come through for the Lakers and he missed his first free throw. The Lakers tried to get a shot off a purposeful miss but couldn’t get a good look in the end. While the Lakers lost the game, I think it is important that they remain hopeful and build off this momentum. They managed to keep it close against a great golden state warriors team that has the 2nd best record in the league. The only question now is whether this was a one-time show or is this a sign that the Lakers have finally started to come together as a team and could start playing a brand of winning basketball.