All the Lakers really wanted was to win one of the first two on the Warriors’ home floor.
Now, a team that struggled mightily all the way to the trade deadline in February can suddenly dream bigger than that.
Anthony Davis erupted for 30 points and a massive 23 rebounds, and the Lakers fought off a late 14-0 run from the Warriors to emerge with a 117-112 road win in Game 1 of their second-round series.
Davis was brilliant on both ends, disrupting the Warriors at the basket and thwarting a couple of late drives by Stephen Curry and others to put the Lakers over the top. When Davis wasn’t blocking shots, he was altering them. For the night, he compiled four blocks, and for the majority of the 48 minutes, the other Lakers did their job on the perimeter.
Jarred Vanderbilt asked to start on Curry, and when Vanderbilt was in the game, Curry was fairly quiet (for Curry, anyway). The Warriors star did score a team-high 27, but he shot just 10-of-27 from the field and didn’t really get going until Vanderbilt rested on the bench.
LeBron James added a barely noticeable 22 points and 11 rebounds, but they proved to be numbers that went a long way. The Lakers, without a doubt, needed every one of them.
Dennis Schroder and D’Angelo Russell added 19 apiece, with Schroder using his speed to keep the offense moving and Russell, while not necessarily a major factor, doing just enough to help LA build a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter.
In other words, it was a teamwide effort in the truest sense, and if the Lakers end up emerging from this series, they’ll need three more similar outings.
Dennis Schroder says the #Lakers game plan was to keep the Warriors off the 3-point line and even though they still got up 53 attempts from deep, he feels they at least did a good job contesting them.
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) May 3, 2023
Klay Thompson added 25 points for the Warriors, but scored just nine in the second half.
Also, Jordan Poole had his best game of the playoffs with 21 points, including 6-of-11 shooting on 3-pointers. But he missed his final one, from way out with 10 seconds left, that could have tied it at 115-all.
Instead, the Lakers rebounded and iced it from the line.
Steve Kerr believes the Warriors were the "fresher" team down the stretch, but they just couldn't get over the hump pic.twitter.com/bm75Sfde18
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) May 3, 2023
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he had no issues with Poole’s shot.
“Jordan was wide open and had a pretty good look,” Kerr said, via Ben Golliver of the Washington Post. “That’s a shot he can hit. Really happy with that possession. Jordan had hit six threes already. That’s a great shot for us.”
Game 2 is Thursday at 9 p.m. EST.
"I don't like that shot at all."
Chuck, Shaq and Kenny react to Jordan Poole's missed 3-pointer near end of Lakers-Warriors Game 1 pic.twitter.com/JMwq0FvmWA
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 3, 2023