The stars were out for last night’s 7/8 play-in game at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Golden State Warriors pushed the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers to the limit. Any time LeBron James and Stephen Curry are on the floor together, it is a must-see.
The Warriors came out and punched the Lakers in the mouth, and the Laker stars were ice cold. Anthony Davis and LeBron were settling for jump shots, while Draymond Green was harassing Davis playing excellent defense. Andrew Wiggins got the better of LeBron early, scoring on him with ease, and blocked one of LeBron’s shots.
Then, Stephen Curry got hot towards the end of the first half. He hit a deep buzzer-beating three-pointer to end the first half, and the Warriors were up 13. All the momentum was on Golden State’s side. On the bright side for the Lakers, they couldn’t have played any worse, and they were only down 13.
In the second half, the Laker defense stepped up, and Laker head coach Frank Vogel moved Davis to center and benched Andre Drummond. Wesley Matthews and Alex Caruso provided a huge lift off the bench for the champs. Golden State’s role players started missing some shots, and it was game-on.
In the fourth quarter, it was back and forth. With a minute remaining, the score was tied 100-100. The Lakers had a broken offensive possession. LeBron James had to shoot from the Staples Center logo with one second on the shot clock and drilled the deep three-pointer. That ended up being the play of the game, as minutes prior, Draymond Green committed a hard foul on LeBron and accidentally scratched his eye. LeBron was in obvious eye discomfort and said after the game, and said,
“The first thing I did when KCP kicked it out, I looked at the shot clock. The second thing I saw was three rims from being poked in the eye on that previous possession when I drove to the hole and then in transition. So, I just aimed for the middle one.”LeBron James postgame interview with Rachel Nichols on ESPN
ESPN’s First Take host Stephen A. Smith thought LeBron’s game-winner was lucky.
“Hell yeah, it was luck… we all know that LeBron James is an all-time great… obviously this was one of them… But nevertheless, he made it, and that’s what great players do.”Stephen A. Smith on LeBron James’ shot.
It was a tough shot with the shot clock winding down, and it was deeper than LeBron’s usual shooting range. In the end, LeBron made enough plays down the stretch to win the game. Big win for the Lakers, as they move on to face the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs. Meanwhile, for the Warriors, they will host the Memphis Grizzlies in a must-win game to make the playoffs and have a date with the Utah Jazz in the first round.