The Lakers retaliate against the Warriors and take the series lead with a beating

The Los Angeles Lakers, who started the season in abysmal fashion (2-10), are now just two wins away from reaching the Western Finals after beating the Golden State Warriors (127-97) with great authority this Saturday to making way 2-1 in this conference semi-final.

The Angelenos’ unexpected and amazing adventure in these playoffs opened a new chapter for the illusion of the hand of a very serious defense and a stellar trio: LeBron James (didn’t score in the first quarter but ended the game with 21 points , 8 rebounds and 8 assists), Anthony Davis (25 points and 13 rebounds) and D’Angelo Russell (21 points).

Instead, the Warriors suffered a day of misery while visiting the Hollywood mecca.

The current NBA champions, who had just won the second game by a resounding 127-100, amassed 19 turnovers this afternoon, crashed in the triple (13 of 44 to their rivals’ stellar 15 of 31) and barely made it to the personal line (12 of 17 to the Lakers’ 28 of 37).

Stephen Curry led Golden State with 23 points (9-of-21 shooting), Klay Thompson added 15 points (5-of-14), and Andrew Wiggins had 16 points and 9 rebounds.

The fourth game of this tie will also be played in Los Angeles next Monday.

RUSSELL ASKS FOR STEP

Neither LeBron nor Davis monopolized the spotlight at the start in Los Angeles: it was Russell who started the game like a rocket with 11 points in a row, including three triples.

Unlike Davis, who did wake up as the minutes went by, LeBron drew a strange and very absent first quarter in which he finished with 0 points and without even attempting the basket.

This was the first time in his two decades of golden NBA career that LeBron did not look at the basket in the first period of a playoff game.

LeBron’s paralysis reflected an overly predictable and static offense by the Lakers outside of Russell and Davis, who combined to score 21 of their team’s 23 points.

Much more balanced and coral, thanks to 11 points and three three-pointers from Thompson, the Warriors only had to accelerate a little to take the lead in the first twelve minutes (23-30).

This trend continued into the second quarter with the Lakers clumsy on offense and uncertain behind.

Without making much noise, the Warriors pulled a remarkable 29-40 with 7.49 going into halftime, but then the game’s winds changed radically.

The Angelenos tightened up the defense, LeBron finally scored his first runs in the middle of the fourth inning and the lighthouse of the purple and gold also capped off a phenomenal 13-0 run with a game-turning three-pointer.

It didn’t stop there.

Facing some Lakers now launched and convinced, the Warriors got caught in a surprise drought, stumbling again and again with incorrect fouls, turnovers, and failed shootings (7 of 23 in that quarter).

With the two teams going in completely opposite directions, the Lakers finished the final eight minutes with an impressive 30-8 run and went to the locker room with a smile (59-48) and with Russell leading the way with 21 points and five three-pointers .

NO VISITOR REACTION

The bad news didn’t stop at the restart for Golden State, where Draymond Green added his fourth foul as the Lakers gave a small lead (65-50 with 9.26 on the clock).

Two minutes later, Davis penalized Green for his fifth offense and the controversial all-rounder was benched for the Warriors.

At Golden State’s worst moment, Wiggins played in one of the most spectacular plays of these playoffs: an extraordinary dunk in the face of a Davis who could do nothing before the impressive leap from the front.

LeBron was not far behind, who chained up a beautiful basket and turned himself with a great block on Jordan Poole.

Curry appeared to revive the Warriors with 10 points in the third quarter, but it was a mirage as the visiting defense remained a sieve with thousands of holes.

Thus, the Lakers maintained their cruising speed, grabbed a now fully connected LeBron (11 points in that period) and won by 20 points before the final quarter (86-68).

The Golden State epic was not even called upon: Dennis Schröder and Austin Reaves chained two triples for the locals and Steve Kerr pulled back his figures and pulled out the white flag with his team at -26 with 9 minutes to play .

Source: El heraldo

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