The Lakers entered Wednesday night's matchup against the Warriors comfortable in the driving seat. Holding a 3-1 series lead, all the Lakers had to do was play the same basketball all series and they would be moving on to the Western Conference Finals.
What's more, they were coming off some absolutely dominant performances. In Game 3, they beat the Warriors by 30. In Game 4, they forced an uncharacteristic blunder by Steph Curry to win 107-104. It finally felt like the Lakers had found a consistent solution for the Warriors' three-heavy game plan. Now all they had to do was execute it one more time.
Warriors Dominate, Lakers Lose AD
Things started off great for the Lakers. While they weren't winning the game, they were keeping it close over the first quarter and a half. However, slowly but surely, the Warriors began to pull away. A four-point lead at the end of the first became an 11-point lead at the half. Every time the Lakers scored, the Warriors responded in kind. There was never any momentum for the visitors, only finding points here and then instead of going on major scoring runs. Then they lost Anthony Davis about midway through the fourth quarter. Davis went down after an elbow to the head and didn't return to the game. His status for Game 6 is currently up in the air.
The Warriors simply played better on the night. They outshot and rebounded the Lakers. They were better in the paint and when distributing the ball. There was no one defining factor of their win, the Warriors just played better basketball. Three Warriors starters hit at least 20 points, with all starters reaching double digits. Steph Curry led all scorers with 27 points. This was despite Curry shooting just 3-for-11 for three. Draymond Green put up the only double-double of the night with 20 points and 10 rebounds. LeBron and AD combined for 48 but the Lakers got no production from Jarred Vanderbilt (0 points in 11 minutes). The Lakers will need to play better, especially defensively to prevent a Game 7. The two teams will meet in LA on Friday night. Even with Davis' status questionable, the Lakers are slightly favored by oddsmakers.
Do you think the Lakers will get it done in Game 6? Or do you think we are headed for a Game 7? Let us know n the comments.