San Francisco – Anthony Davis scored 30 points, grabbed 23 rebounds and dominated in the paint. Down by three points with second s on the clock, the Warriors failed to close out Game 1. The Lakers beat Golden State 117-112 to start the series, despite a strong effort from the Warriors who were no match to Davis.
“He’s elite defensively,” said LA’s head coach Darvin Ham on Davis. “His ability to change shots, block shots, then still gather the rebounds, that’s rare. That’s rare company for guys that’s able to do that.
I told him before the game, dominate on both sides of the ball. He’s been doing that. We expect nothing less from him. We expect it to continue.”
“Yeah, with Davis in the paint, you’re not going to get anything easy at the rim.,” Kerr said. “So you still have to try to attack. You can’t just play around the three-point line the whole game. But a big part of our offense is trying to get the ball into the paint, move it out, and our guys did a pretty good job of that.
They were trying to take away our threes the whole game, the top blocking, and really putting pressure on our perimeter guys, and I thought our guys did a really good job of finding openings and getting each other some good shots.”
“My aggressiveness on both ends of the floor,” said Green on what he needs to change for Game 2. “I think I allowed the three fouls to kind of take me out of a rhythm, and never really found it again. So just got to stay out of foul trouble. It’s kind of been a theme with me. Just got to stop fouling.”
“It’s always great to win in the post-season, no matter where you are, no matter who you’re playing. It’s very difficult to win in the post-season,” LeBron James said. “I got a lot of history in Oracle, a lot of battles in that arena over the years. It’s definitely a different feeling walking here into a post-season game, being in the Chase Arena now.
That Warriors and the GS, those colors hasn’t changed. So my focus and my respect for them hasn’t changed, as well. It’s just an honor to be able to play this game at a high level, play with other great players, then also look on the other side and see other great players, being a part of that’s historic, something that lasts a lot longer than we are today. That’s pretty cool.”
Davis controlled the paint while the Warriors tried to figure out how to get around him. James scored 22 points, had 11 rebounds to steal one game fron Golden State at home. The Lakers controlled the third period and used patience on missed 3s from the Warriors while they continued to maintain their lead.
“The guys gave the ball to me in the right spots,” said Davis. “A lot of it came out of pick and roll, post-ups, some offensive rebounds. Just being aggressive when I do catch, looking to score, looking to play make to the other guys. That was the guards finding me early, which allowed them to play free later on in the game.”
Stephen Curry scored fewer than 28 points for the first time this postseason. He is averaging 32.9 points per game on 48.0% shooting from the field and 38.8% from three. Kevon Looney posted a playoff and regular season career high 23 rebounds. In the 2023 NBA Playoffs, Looney is averaging a league-leading 16.1 rebounds per game. It was his fourth 20-rebound game this postseason, the most by a Warrior in a single postseason since Nate Thurmond had 13 in 1967.
“Obviously AD had a big game but for the most part it was that little run in the third quarter where they got some momentum and took it to what was it, a 14-point lead at one point. But we obviously clawed our way back and tied it with a minute and some change left. Gave ourselves an opportunity. We know we need to clean up some stuff, a few too many turnovers on my part.
I understand that AD’s presence in the paint, he’s — you know, he has length and the way they are trying to funnel us into the lane, we’ve got to be able to see the floor a little bit better. But you know, a long series.”
Up Next: The Warriors host the Lakers in Game 2 of the series on Thursday, May 4 at 6 p.m.
Kerr’s pregame press conference
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr talks to media pregame:
ON THE STYLE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE LAKERS AND THE KINGS:
“Well, you try to adapt as quickly as possible, so hopefully, we’re not dribbling in and trying to score layups over the top of AD (Anthony Davis), in the first five minutes of the game, but if we are, then let’s learn our lesson quickly and understand how we have to attack. We all have to adapt and adjust every matchup every team does. And you quickly try to get your team to shift the focus to where it needs to be and lock in on personnel and tendencies and then make adjustments from there.”
ON THE MATCHUP BETWEEN STEPHEN CURRY AND LEBRON JAMES:
“Yeah, I mean it’s not quite the same timeline as Magic (Johnson) and (Larry) Bird, but it’s pretty close. I think Steph’s three years behind LeBron, by the time Steph really became a superstar LeBron already was one, but no doubt this last decade they have been two of the greatest and they’ve had a lot of meetings in the postseason. I think there’s a lot of mutual respect there, but just like Magic and Bird, back in the day, you meet in the playoffs, and that respect kind of takes a back seat. Guys are trying to beat each other and they’re going to do anything to do so and then there’s time for the respect later on, but it’s wonderful for basketball fans, amazing for the league. Just to have two all-time greats at the peak of their powers for almost an entire decade playing against each other frequently. Pretty, pretty awesome rivalry.”
LAKERS HEAD COACH DARVIN HAM
ON THE TOP PRIORITY WHEN PLAYING THE WARRIORS:
“I just think locating shooters. As opposed to Memphis it was you know Ja (Morant), Desmond (Bane), and those guys playing downhill, we have to spread back, obviously protect the basket, get the ball under control, try to defend the paint. But with this team you got to spread back. They do have guys that run to the rim so we get the rim protection, but also I think the second order of business is to guard the 3-point line. What they do, the way the pace they play with, they play with neck-breaking speed, got shooters everywhere, and bigs that can screen, play off the dribble, and dribble hand-off, get actions, they’re constantly looking for a spray out. So we got our hands full to say the least.”
ON EMPAHSIZING TO HIS TEAM THE WARRIORS PACE:
“I mean my message to our group was just, and I think the film kind of reflected the message from myself and the rest of the coaching staff, you can’t get discouraged, you can’t have disappointment. Good, bad, or indifferent, made shot, no call, you got to move onto the next play. You got to have a next play mentality with multiple efforts. That’s the only way you can try to you know obviously protect yourself from the onslaught from the pace, and speed, and shooting that they’re going to throw at you constantly throughout the game. The big thing is having short memory and being on your horse at all times.”