Lakers’ scathing reply against the Warriors
Dominated in wide widths during Act II, LeBron James and LA spanked the Golden State Warriors (127-97) on Saturday and lead 2-1 in the series.
Posted7 May 2023, 07:54
The fate of the Lakers has never seemed so linked to that of Anthony Davis.
USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con
The Lakers, intractable in defense like Anthony Davis, crushed the Warriors (127-97) to lead 2-1 in their Western Conference semi-final, Miami taking the same advantage against New York (105-86 ), Saturday during the NBA play-off.
After the slap received during match No 2 in San Francisco (127-100), LA’s response was scathing. And to see the crestfallen face of Stephen Curry on the bench during the last quarter, where it was better to save his strength on both sides since the fate of the meeting was decided, it hurt beyond the score, even if the series is still far from being played.
Davis takes control
Defending champion, Golden State is indeed experienced enough to recover, but it is clear that the Lakers showed very few weak points in this act, yet better started by their opponents, who pointed in front at the end. of the first quarter (30-23).
But in the wake of D’Angelo Russell, who had scored his team’s first 11 points to finish with 21 in total (5/8 from behind the arc), Anthony Davis took control of both racquets to impose his power and all his talent (25 points at 7/10 on shots, 13 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 steals).
“I just wanted to be dominant defensively again. It’s a difficult team to contain, but we did it well tonight, keeping them at 97 points, ”commented Davis, vindictive after being put under the extinguisher in the previous game.
“It’s a battle between two teams that want it, that can give each other a beating any night. We know they will come in full force on Monday to avoid being down 3-1. We must have the state of mind that we had tonight,” he added.
James was everywhere
Opposite, the frustration was great. Challenging several refereeing decisions, Steve Kerr’s players suffered three technical fouls before the break, returning to the locker room having conceded a 36-18.
All the more prohibitive as LeBron James (21 points, 8 assists, 8 rebounds) was not outdone, after not having taken a single shot in the first quarter. A first in 275 play-off matches played.
But his 10 and 11 points in the next two put the turbo in his diesel engine. And once launched, he was everywhere in attack as in defense. With his 38-year-old legs, he was once again a model of self-sacrifice, like on this sprint to cut off an opposing pass, his race ending far in the spans.
Butler revives Miami
In the East, Miami, taking advantage of the return of Jimmy Butler easily beat New York.
Without having to put on his Superman cape, the winger nevertheless largely contributed to this success (28 points), proof that he is well and truly recovered from the sprained right ankle he suffered at the end of the first meeting and which had forced him to withdraw for the following one.
He got a little fright, however, at the end of the third quarter, when his foot slipped slightly outwards on a slippery support. He limped for a few moments, before putting a difficult basket halfway, which had the gift of reassuring everyone on the Florida side.
At that time, Miami, while trying to defend well on Jalen Brunson (20 points at 7/20 on shots), maintained its comfortable lead (87-67), Max Strus going with his usual contribution (19 points) and Bam Adebayo knocking down a work of undermining in the racket (17 points, 12 rebounds).
Their coach, Erik Spoelstra, felt Butler’s return had instilled confidence in his teammates. “There is no other possible analysis, when it comes to the general confidence level of the team, who knows that they can always give him the ball and that they will get something effective and consistent. .”