The Golden State Warriors nearly pulled off a major comeback Tuesday night at the Chase Center.
However, that push started a bit late.
Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Warriors 117-112 in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series in San Francisco. The Lakers took an early 1-0 lead in the series after being knocked out of the playoffs by the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs.
Davis was absolutely dominant in the win as well. Davis had 30 points, 23 rebounds, five assists and four blocks on 11-for-19 shooting from the field.
“We know they’re the same defending champs, man,” Davis said on TNT. “We saw what they did against Zach … no lead was safe with them. You saw that they could get hot at any time. It’s just a mindset for our team knowing that if we win in this building we can take this team down. It gives us confidence.
The Warriors rallied in the final minutes, even though the Lakers felt a full step ahead in the second half. After falling into a 14-point hole in the fourth quarter, the Warriors went on a 14-0 run in a nearly five-minute span with a pair of big 3-pointers from Jordan Poole and Stephen Curry. That completely wiped out the Lakers lead.
However, Curry’s final 3-pointer was the last Golden State made. The Lakers held the Warriors scoreless the rest of the way and knocked down some free throws in the closing seconds to take a five-point victory and an early 1-0 lead.
The first half was a battle, immediately setting the tone for what should be a great series in California. Davis dropped 23 of his 30 points in the first half and led the Lakers to a one-point lead at halftime. Led by Klay Thompson’s 18 first-half points, the Warriors hit 13 3-pointers in the first 24 minutes. The Lakers, on the other hand, went 1-of-8 from behind the arc.
The Lakers pulled away briefly in the third, thanks to a big 13-3 run that kept them in double digits for the first time all night. Golden State didn’t trail for long and got back into it thanks to a wild Gary Payton II dunk on James. However, the Slam somehow didn’t impress the elder Payton much.
The Lakers extended their lead to eight late in the third, and they got three free points in the final minutes when Draymond Green sent Davis off for a technical foul for arguing with an official. Free throw line. The Lakers were a brisk 21-for-23 from the free throw line after three quarters, and the Warriors attempted just five shots from the stripe.
That led to a late push by the Warriors that was short-lived.
Curry led Golden State with 27 points in the loss, while Thompson finished with 25. Poole also added 21 points off the bench. The trio combined to go 18-for-40 from behind the arc. Kevon Looney added 10 points and 23 rebounds. He has recorded at least 20 rebounds in four games so far this postseason.
James added 22 points and 11 rebounds in Davis’ 30-point night. Dennis Schroder finished with 19 points, while D’Angelo Russell had 19 points and six assists. Despite making just six shots from behind the arc, the Lakers shot nearly 47% from the field as a team and made 25 free throws. More importantly, they have won 15 of their last 19 matches.
Game 2 of the series is scheduled for Thursday night in San Francisco.