Anthony Davis had 30 points, 23 rebounds, five assists, and four blocked shots, LeBron James added 22 points and 11 rebounds, dueling with Stephen Curry in their latest postseason showdown, and the Los Angeles Lakers held off a late flurry by the Golden State Warriors to win Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals 117-112 on Tuesday night. The game was an entertaining matchup between two of the NBA’s best teams, and it was a great way to start the series.
The Warriors could not pull off the comeback they needed in the game’s final minutes, as Jordan Poole’s attempt to tie the game with a 3-pointer with 9.7 seconds remaining was unsuccessful. After Davis blocked a shot by Curry a few moments later, the game was secured thanks to a three-pointer made by Curry with 1:38 remaining on the clock. D’Angelo Russell immediately responded to Russell’s response. A minute and five seconds remained when James shot and missed the first two free shots.
When Poole hit a three-pointer with 2:48 left, it trimmed the Lakers’ advantage to 112-109, and when James was penalized for traveling with 1:53 left, it cut the Lakers’ lead even further.
This is a new chapter in the lengthy rivalry between the superstars after they competed against one another in four consecutive NBA Finals from 2015-2018 when James was playing for Cleveland. James has the record for the most points ever scored, while Curry holds the record for the most three-pointers ever made. This is a new chapter in the long rivalry between the superstars.
Curry had 27 points, Klay Thompson had 25, and Kevon Looney grabbed a career-high 23 rebounds for his fourth game of this playoffs with 20 or more rebounds. Curry led the team in scoring with 27 points, while Klay Thompson led the team in assists with 25. In addition to that, he scored 10 points and dished out five assists. In the game’s last 5 minutes and 19 seconds, Thompson hit a 3-pointer, which trimmed the Lakers’ advantage to 112-104.
After the final buzzer, fans in Los Angeles could be heard chanting, “Let’s go Lakers!” as the Warriors prepared to play Game 2 back on their home court at Chase Center on Thursday night. The Warriors are the defending champions, and they will look to even the series when they play there.
Golden State came within 99-95 thanks to a three-pointer from Curry with 9:38 remaining, but the Lakers replied with two consecutive scoring possessions, including a layup from LeBron James with 8:38 left to play.
Davis took control of the game right from the opening tip, hitting 9 of his first ten shots, while Russell scored 19 points and threw out six assists against the club he previously played for.
With 5 minutes and 23 seconds remaining in the third quarter, James hit a 3-pointer to put the Lakers up by 10, giving them an 86-76 lead. Then, with 3:48 remaining in the game, Thompson made a slick pass behind his back that set up Gary Payton II for a dunk over James, which put the Hawks ahead to stay.
The Warriors decreased the deficit to 86-80, which prompted the Lakers to take a timeout.
The Lakers finished off Memphis in six games on Friday night. They had a couple of additional recuperation days to be ready, while Golden State was pushed to the limit by the youthful Sacramento Kings and won Game 7 on Sunday. The Warriors made history by becoming the first defending champion team to win a playoff series after falling 2-0.
Curry scored a career-high 50 points in the playoffs, which set a new record for the most points scored in a Game 7 in the NBA. The head coach of the Warriors, Steve Kerr, expressed his belief that his team had an edge since they had just competed two days before.
But the remodeled Los Angeles Lakers could take it to the Golden State Warriors, just as they did when they won the final three regular-season matchups. Los Angeles is a significantly different team than the one that suffered a 123-109 loss to Golden State on October 18 to start the season.
The first postseason meeting between the two teams since 1991 succeeded in meeting expectations. They hadn’t competed in the playoffs since the “Run TMC” Warriors, headed by Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, and Chris Mullin, were eliminated by Magic Johnson and James Worthy in the semifinals of the Western Conference. Since then, they hadn’t had a chance to prove themselves.
After describing his 4-for-19 performance in Game 7, which took place on Sunday in Sacramento, as “disgusting,” Thompson was motivated to get off to a strong start in Game 1. He’s been waiting his entire life to play a team as large as the Lakers on a stage as huge as this, and he scored 18 points before halftime, including four three-pointers.
After a season in which all three of them achieved 200 3-pointers and Thompson 301, he, Curry, and Poole each hit six 3-pointers. Thompson made 301 3-pointers.
Since the sixth-seeded Houston Rockets faced the seventh-seeded Seattle SuperSonics in 1987, this will be the first time a No. 6 seed will have a home-court advantage in the second round of the playoffs. Golden State is the sixth seed, and the Los Angeles Lakers are the seventh seed.
In the postseason history of these two players, Curry’s record against James is now 15-8.
In the current playoffs of the NBA, Looney has the most rebounds of any player in the league. At the 4:31 mark of the first quarter, he already had seven rebounds, and he had 13 by halftime on his way to achieving double-digit rebounds for the sixth consecutive playoff game he has played in, with four performances that have garnered more than 20 rebounds.
In the seven games he played against Sacramento, he pulled down 106 rebounds, including 90 overall, with 34 on the offensive end. He also dished out 27 assists in the series’ last five games.
With Davis leading the way, the Lakers finished the first half with 32 points in the paint to Golden State’s 12 points in the same court area. Additionally, the Lakers made all eight of their attempts from the free throw line during the first half, bringing their overall percentage to 25 for 29. Davis made all of his free throw attempts.
Warriors: Golden State only attempted a free throw once Poole made a three-point play with 38 seconds left before halftime. After a first half that featured 11 different teams in the lead, the Warriors entered the halftime break trailing their opponent by one point, 65-64.