Despite blowing a 3-1 lead in the finals, the Golden State Warriors are the favorite to win the 2016-17 finals after signing Kevin Durant. So with news that Steph Curry, Durant, and Klay Thompson would start, a win for the Lakers seemed unlikely. As many predicted, the Los Angeles Lakers lost 112-107 and were at one point down 30 points.
As you would expect the Lakers were trailing the Warriors for the majority of the game, and didn’t look impressive against the team’s big three. Only a handful of Lakers played decently in the first half. But once the Warriors took out Durant, Curry, and Klay, they started to play better.
The Lakers started to score more and defend better as they eventually brought the Warriors lead down to 5 points. The Lakers looked much better in the second half playing against the Warriors’ bench unit, and the players individual performances looked better too.
Nick Young once again showed he can shoot, making over half of his three pointers for 17 points. If the past few games are indicative of the future then he has shown that he can be a productive player for the Lakers. And his shooting isn’t his only impressive performance as he has shown an improved defensive effort too.
After an unimpressive start in the preseason, Brandon Ingram had his first breakout game. He was his usual self as a disrupting defender and getting open on offense. But this time, he was hitting the shots. He was a perfect 2-2 on three-pointers and 3-5 overall for 12 points. Every game, he looks more comfortable and today he put it all together. Hopefully he keeps it up in the next few games.
D’Angelo Russell was cold for most of the game shooting only 3-10 with eight points. But he wasn’t entirely useless as he had five assists, and was in charge of the offense, initiating most of the plays that led to points. One thing about Russell is he’ll have a lot of hockey assists that won’t be in the box score.
Some other notable performances include Timofey Mozgov who had 15 points and four rebounds while remaining the defensive anchor around the rim. Jordan Clarkson also had another good scoring night with 15 points but was largely inefficient throughout the game.
The Lakers started off the game losing and never recovered until the third quarter, and this is what many games will look like in the regular season. They’ll be trailing superior teams but will keep it competitive till the end. That’s all you can ask for with such a young and inexperienced team.
The Lakers may have lost to the Warriors but at least they weren’t the first team to blow a 3-1 lead in the finals.
The Lakers will face off against the Golden State Warriors once more at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego at 7 PM PST on Wednesday.