Lakers defeat Warriors in double overtime thriller, 145-144

The Lakers defeat the Warriors in a very long first match-up of the season.

What a game. This might be the best game of the season.

The Lakers and Warriors were on a marathon. It went 10 extra minutes of game time but in the end, the Lakers came up on top after a tiring basketball show, 145-144.

It was back and forth in the first quarter as neither team broke away. But it was about the stars doing their thing. LeBron James had 9 while Anthony Davis had 8 for the Lakers while Stephen Curry scored 11 in those first 12 minutes. The Lakers led, 33-30.

Andrew Wiggins came in and caused some damage. So did Jonathan Kuminga, who showed off his hops by doing a breakaway windmill jam.

While Wiggins scored 10 in the second, LeBron James ended the half with a personal 7-0 flourish. The Lakers led the Warriors in this high-scoring affair… well, maybe not, considering what we have seen in the last week. Anyway, Lakers led, 68-62, at the half.

Our familiar Third Quarter Lakers showed up again and the Warriors put on a blistering display of three-point shooting. They made 6 threes as part of an immense 25-5 run. Even worse, Anthony Davis got hit by Draymond Green in the groin area and had to leave.

Vanderbilt came in and caused chaos once again. The Lakers’ renewed energy put on their own show as they scored 14 in a row. Still, the Warriors settled down with back-to-back Klay Thompson threes and a Brandin Podziemski long floater that beat the buzzer. The Warriors led the Lakers, 99-91, after the third.

Luckily for the Lakers, Davis came back in the fourth. L.A. would ring off a 12-0 run late to take the lead after a D’Angelo Russell three and Anthony Davis free throws. Andrew Wiggins missed his foul shots before Davis made his two. Stephen Curry would follow up with a lay-up. Davis would split his foul shots, though, and the Lakers had a 118-116 precarious lead. Curry would escape Davis in the paint and make another lay-up. The Lakers wouldn’t get a shot off and they went to extra innings.

The Lakers would get four-point leads but the Warriors would keep countering back with threes. Finally, with the Lakers holding on to a 130-127 lead, Klay Thompson was able to let Austin Reaves fly by and make a game-tying three. LeBron’s last attempt in the next possession would go in and out and we have a second overtime.

The Lakers were up four before back-to-back threes by the Super Splash Brothers gave the lead back to the Dubs. D’Angelo Russell made a three and Austin Reaves split his foul shots as the Lakers took a 143-141 lead into a timeout.

After a foul to give, Curry broke free for a three to take back the lead. And then LeBron drove into the lane and got fouled. Bron would make the free throws to give the Lakers the lead back with 1.2 seconds. With no timeouts, Curry had to fling from backcourt which fell way short. The Lakers came away with the win and are back above .500.

I feared the three-point shooting and that was pretty much the Warriors’ main weapon. They made 23 threes compared to the Lakers’ 9. But both teams made big shots. D’Angelo Russell came on late. Anthony Davis played a gutsy fourth and two overtimes. LeBron James is timeless. Jarred Vanderbilt gave some defensive punch to counter Curry and Thompson’s outside artillery. Jonathan Kuminga and Andrew Wiggins gave trouble in the wings while rookie Brandin Podziemski showed no fear. And of course, Draymond Green was an incredible playmaker for the Dubs.

The Lakers were fantastic early on the break before the Warriors got it going on that end in the second half. Still, the Lakers came away with a 31-23 fast break edge. They were much better on the second chance points, too, considering the Warriors played small the entire time.

While the Lakers seemed to be lackadaisical on some possessions in overtime, it might be because they looked so fatigued. It was a loooooong game and either of these teams could’ve come out on top. This might be the best NBA game I’ve seen this season. It was quite a rumble out there.

LeBron James was beyond spectacular.

It was a total of 36 points, 20 rebounds (best of his career, if you can believe it), and 12 assists. If someone can tell me the secrets of his eternal youth, I’d like to know. Well, besides spending a million dollars on your body each year!

Anthony Davis toughed it out with 29 points and 13 boards. D’Angelo Russell was a bit frustrating but he did come up big late in the game to score 28 points.

As for the Warriors, the ageless Stephen Curry finished with 46 points. I said Thompson looked older in my preview but he ended with 24 points. Wiggins and Kuminga each had 22 while Draymond ended with 8-14-11 to go along with two blocks and three thefts.

Now it’s time for the Lakers to put together a consistent period of excellent play. They have won 5 of 7 games (if you can believe that) but they will continue to be on the road for about 11 more days.

The next stop is in Texas where they play the Rockets. The Lakers hope that there would be no problems in Houston but you know how this team is.

They’ll be inconsistent until they prove that they’re not. Still, a hell of a gutty win by these Lakers.