James heroic finish lifts Lakers over Warriors in play-in game

Los Angeles – Stephen Curry scored 37 points and that wasn’t enough to stop he Los Angeles Lakers who rallied back for the win late in the fourth.  A missed three-point shot and failed inbound pass would be the tragic end for the Warriors in the final seconds of the game.

Golden State lost 103-100 to the Lakers behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis aggressive play in the fourth period.  LA tied the game up 98-98 but a crucial turnover play by the Warriors led to a Davis dunk and James 3-point shot with 58.2 seconds left as the shot clock expired.  

“He made a great shot obviously at the end,” said Golden State’s head coach Steve Kerr.  “We played against him so many times over the years, we know how good LeBron is, we know what he’s capable of, he came thru for them.”

Curry missed 3 and Steve Kerr called a timeout to stop the clock.  With 2.1 left in the game, Kent Bazemore made a bad inbounded pass and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope got the steal to seal the the Lakers victory.  Curry never got a chance to make the final shot.  An unbelievable turn of events for the Lakers as Golden State committed a total of 20 turnovers, especially in the third quarter.

When asked if they lost the game in the third, Kerr responded; 

“For sure, we had five turnovers at the half and I think 10 in the third quarter.  We knew they were going to come out, we talked about it at halftime.  They’re a great team and they were going to make a run.  I don’t even think our turnovers were forced.  I thought we just made careless decisions with the ball and that’s what turned the game.”

LA was down by as much as 13 points in the first half but clawed their way back in the third to cut the lead down to 2.  Dennis Schroder scored 7 points and both James ad Davis got more aggressive on offense.  James finished with 22 points, 10 assists, and 11 rebounds.  While Davis had 25 points and 12 rebounds.

Despite James heroic efforts in the end, Alex Caruso was their “gem” off the bench.  He kept the Lakers in the game during that first half leading all scores with 12 points, he went 5-for-5 from the field that included a pair of 3s.  The Warriors achilles heel came with their turnovers and mishandling of the ball.  A big turn change from excellent ball movement in the first half to 10 turnovers in the third.  

“I loved our guys effort the whole game,” said Kerr.  “Draymond [Green] was amazing tonight guarding Anthony Davis and I thought Wiggs [Andrew Wiggins] did a great job on LeBron.  Our guys really battled and competed.  I couldn’t be more proud of what the team’s become over the last couple of months.  But this is a bitter pill to swallow, this was our game and we couldn’t get it done.”  

Green played excellent defense on Davis, he held him to 5 points (Davis went 2-for-12) in the first half.  James also scored 5 points to end the half.  The Warriors held the LA to 42 first half points, made 6 blocks and finished the quarter up by 13.  Wiggins had a great game and finished with 21 points, and Bazemore added 10.  Kevon Looney who started at center tonight recorded 13 rebounds. 

Golden State also lead in fast break points during the half and put up two great quarters.  They forced the Lakers to shoot 15-for-46 from the field.  However, this was a huge disappointing loss for the Warriors who will now head back home to host the Memphis Grizzlies.  This game will determine the Western Conference 8th seed and final spot in the playoffs.  

“We’ll have tomorrow to prepare for Memphis,” Kerr said.  “But obviously everybody is disappointed right now.”  

Photo by Warriors/Twitter

Malaika Bobino

Malaika Bobino, an Oakland, California native, is a Bay Area sports journalism powerhouse and influencer. With nearly two decades of experience at both the Oakland Post and the Huffington Post, she is always on the front lines of the iconic Bay Area sports scene. Bobino covered the Oakland A’s postseason trips, all three of the San Francisco Giants World Series, was present for all three Golden State Warriors three NBA Championships and covered the 49ers last two Super Bowl appearances

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