Los Angeles – The Warriors visited the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time this season. Unfazed by playing the NBA Champs, Golden State never wavered despite being behind as much as 20 points. The Warriors took the lead in the final minutes to beat the Lakers 115-113. LeBron James never misses when he closes a game but tonight wasn’t his night.
James had a chance to win the ball game but missed a 3-point shot at the buzzer. Golden State never gave up and turned the game around late in the fourth to rally back from being down by 14 points. The second unit played their best basketball tonight. Kelly Oubre Jr. scored a season-high 23 points and had two blocks and two steals.
“I think we just had some tough breaks, some tough calls against us in the second half that slowed our pace down,” said James “We couldn’t get back into a rhythm.”
Oubre Jr. played perfectly on both sides of the ball. He forced a Los Angeles turnover and then tied the game 108-108. Draymond Green’s driving layup gave the Warriors the lead for the first time tonight and his 3-foot layup put the Golden State ahead by four points. Stephen Curry’s long three gave them a 5-point lead before the Lakers cut the lead to 2 points before James missed the buzzer beater.
Curry finished with 26 points and 7 assists. Eric Paschall added 19 points and tied his season-high with 19 points (8-of-11 FG) in 19 minutes. Despite a quick start for Los Angeles, the Warriors stayed close. The Lakers got off to a 10-4 start, Oubre Jr. made two shots and got the foul. Golden State’s second unit went on a 8-3 run to make it a 15-10 game.
But the LA went on a 7-0 run to increase their lead 20-10. Dennis Schroder lead all points in the first half with 18 points and finished the game with 25 points. Nothing but missed shots for the Warriors until Oubre Jr. got “hot”. He scored the next four points, Damion Lee got the foul off James and that was enough time for Curry to hit the buzzer beater to end the quarter 34-22.
“Kelly played arguably his best game on both ends of the floor,” Curry said. “The energy off the bench was amazing, it impacted the game. Draymond’s energy guarding AD [Anthony Davis] forced him to make tough shots. And we obviously got some momentum in that second half to give us a chance and carry us down the stretch.”
By the second, Oubre Jr. cut the lead to 9 points. The second unit had more energy, Paschall hit a jump shot then bullied his way inside for another shot and the foul but not before Oubre launched a three from outside. Brad Wanamaker provided excellent defense on James who had 10 points and three assists in the first half.
But again LA went on a 18-7 run and grabbed their own rebounds, 7 to be exact while Golden State had 1 offensive rebound the entire first half. The Warriors took their foot off the gas and got behind by 16 points. Oubre had 16 points while Curry had 7 points and two assist, the team shot 4-for-18 from field to end the first half behind 64-48.
“The first half we stunk it up,” said Steve Kerr. “I was way off at least for the first half. But I liked our fight and our competitive nature in the second half. We changed, and really started to get after it defensively. I thought our second unit was amazing, they really kept us in the game and our starters finished it.”
The Lakers had their five-game winning streak snapped. Golden State needed this win badly after their loss to the Denver Nuggets followed by a few days off due to their game against Phoenix being postponed. The Warriors will host the Sacramento Kings this Wednesday at Chase Center.
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