The Lakers fell to the defending champions, 123-109. This game didn’t seem much different from any other game in the 2021-22 season. And the Warriors certainly looked much of the same and they seemed buoyed by their Championship Ring Night.
The game was not fun to watch early. It was very much a slog in the first half as well as a bunch of missed three-pointers. It felt like they could’ve built another arena inside Chase Center with the bricks both teams were laying.
Despite all of that, the Lakers still kept it close in the first half. But as we’ve come to know about the Warriors, they did their damage in the third quarter. While we saw LeBron James and Kendrick Nunn do their best to keep up with Klay Thompson early (Klay had 18 points in 20 minutes), the Warriors went on a 25-4 run in the third, capped off by back-to-back Stephen Curry threes (he had 33 points).
Long distance wasn’t the thing really killing the Lakers, even if the Dubs sank 16 threes. And sure, the turnovers didn’t help the Lakers (22 to Golden State’s 18). The Lakers got killed in those runs by cuts to the rim by the Warriors. Safe to say that the Lakers’ defense wasn’t very good throughout the game.
For all intents and purposes, the Lakers’ big stars played well. LeBron had 31-14-8. Anthony Davis had 27 points, 6 rebounds, and four steals. And Russell Westbrook, even though he had a few awkward-looking plays, had 19 points and 11 boards. But the Lakers supporting cast (other than Kendrick Nunn, who had 13 points) seemingly felt invisible. The team has always had trouble in terms of perimeter shooting and this was no exception (10 out of 40 from three, 25 percent). And like I said earlier in my preview, they’d have trouble keeping up shot by shot.
The Lakers did make it a bit respectable as they got the deficit down to 13 points. But Andrew Wiggins (20 points) shut that down by making back-to-back threes himself. The Warriors showed why they’re champs while the Lakers showed that they’re really more of the same even though their three stars played well.
Well, the Lakers have a day to collect their thoughts before they play a game against their crosstown rivals, the Clippers. At the very least, the Lakers still have a run at 81-1. What’s so funny?