The Los Angeles Lakers once again matched up with the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday. While the end result was similar to the first preseason game between the two squads, the game itself was markedly different.
The Warriors took the early lead, once again, starting the game on a 10-0 run. It was a case of the best team in the league roasting one of the youngest and most inexperienced. The Dubs never gave up that lead, eventually winning the game 123-112.
But the Lakers managed to make the game interesting in the second quarter. Using some shot-making from the second unit, including Lou Williams and Nick Young (who started but played big minutes with bench units), LAL was able to keep the game close at halftime.
In addition to Young and Williams, the Lakers received a huge contribution from Brandon Ingram. The rookie often looked like the best player on the floor for the Purple and Gold, finishing with a strong all-around stat line of 21 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals, while shooting 7-10 from the floor.
The second half started much like the first, this time with Lakers’ turnovers aiding them. One of the main issues that has haunted D’Angelo Russell in his young career has been complacency; the young point guard is often lazy in his passing and ball handling. That issue reared its ugly head again early in the third quarter.
Russell did a fairly good job of picking his spots between shooting and passing. His playmaking in general was great, as he dished out nine assists for the game. But he negated much of his positive production with poor, careless turnovers (seven for the game).
Fortunately, turnovers are usually fixable for young guards, and it should not be a massive issue for him going forward. That said, there will be games when we can point to those giveaways as the root cause of a loss.
Despite the issues, the Lakers continued to keep the game close. Ingram stayed aggressive, Young hit five of ten threes, and Russell made some great passes to set up his teammates. Nevertheless, the Warriors were ultimately too strong, with Stephen Curry finishing the game with an inferno of nearly impossible threes.
It was a solid showing for the Lakers who looked much better than the last time they played the Dubs (despite the larger margin of victory). There are still plenty of things to work on, however, especially on the defensive end.