Lakers Put Up Historic Performance To Top Warriors

BYBen Mock2.0K Views
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Lakers, Warriors, NBA Playoffs
San Francisco, California May 2, 2023-Lakers Anthony Davis beats Warriors JaMychal Green, center, and Jevon Looney to the basket in the first half in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinal at Chase Center in San Francisco Tuesday.(Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
The Lakers pulled out all the stops to take a series lead.

After dominating the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the NBA playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers had made their intentions clear. They may be the seven-seed, but they are no underdog. Meanwhile, the Warriors overcame an 0-2 deficit to top the Sacramento Kings in the first round. After Draymond Green's mid-series suspension, the Warriors came alive. Behind Steph, Klay, and their deep supporting cast, they flashed their potential once again.

Those two series victories set up an all-star, all-California second-round series. However, despite the tantalizing premise of LeBron versus Steph, the two teams have surprisingly little playoff history. This 2023 series is just the eighth playoff matchup between the Lakers and Warriors. Furthermore, it is the first time they have met in the playoffs since 1991. Heading into Tuesday's Game 1, the Lakers led the Warriors 24-11 in playoff matches.

Lakers Prevail in High-Scoring, Historic Matchup

The Lakers came into this matchup knowing that if they wanted to stand any chance of winning, they needed to lock down on defense. Specifically, they needed to defend the perimeter in a way they hadn't against the Grizzlies. They would also need to dominate the backcourt paint to ensure Steph and Klay didn't spend the whole night being fed second chances. In this regard, they absolutely succeeded. Anthony Davis pulled down 19 defensive rebounds on a 23-rebound night. He also recorded the first 30-20 game by a Laker since Shaq. LeBron also put up a double-double, with 22 points and 11 rebounds.

However, the Warriors never let the Lakers run away with the game. Despite increased perimeter defense, Golden State made some history of their own. Steph, Klay, and Jordan Poole became the first trio in NBA playoff history to all make at least six threes in a game. In fact, with 9.1 seconds remaining, Poole had the chance to tie the game at 115. However, his three-point attempt from 28 feet out didn't sink and the Lakers held on for a 117-112 win. This was just the tenth loss the Warriors had suffered at home this season. Despite the disappointment, they have shown that they can keep pace with the Lakers. The series will resume on Thursday.

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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.