Recap: Lakers just barely beat the Warriors, 117-91

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 18: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after a foul on Dennis Schroder #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on January 18, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Earlier I wrote the preview for this game, teasing some possible revenge for the Los Angeles Lakers as they were set to face the Golden State Warriors who beat them 115-113 in mid-January. Well, it’s safe to say that the Lakers got that revenge and then some, winning 117-91 tonight in a game that got out of hand early (Draymond Green was not able to return for the second-half due to an ankle injury but it was out of hand before that).

It was quite the offensive performance (aided by their defense — more on that below) as six Lakers players ended up scoring in double-figures. LeBron James led the way with 19 points despite not playing in the 4th quarter, as he was subbed out with 4:00 left in the 3rd with some much-needed rest. LeBron has played some of the most minutes in the NBA, something the Lakers probably don’t want to see. These games are definitely crucial to keep The King fresh for later.

Here’s our recap of the rest of the game.

Player of the game – The Defense

I almost wanted to put “the open man” as the player of the game. “The open man” was the third-best player on the Lakers last season according to Frank Vogel, as he always deferred to say who the third-best player was behind the obvious LeBron James and Anthony Davis. It would be a disservice to the defense to say it was just open men making shots leading to a 117 total, as they deserve most of the credit. Their 10 steals, four blocks, and overall defensive execution led to 22 fastbreak points for the Lakers to the Warriors’ 13.

Stat of the game – 35.5 3P% vs 23.5 3P%

The Lakers outshot a team from deep. Can you believe it?! They shot 35.5% from three, with even that total being a little deceiving as they were over 40% before the Lakers’ scrubs sort of ruined that in the 4th quarter.

To top it off, they did it against the team with Stephen Curry as the Lakers were able to finally find their three-point shot. It seems like they can beat down anyone when they are doing that, as their defense can almost always be relied on to assist.

Quote of the night – “Boy, the Warriors are stinkin’ up the joint tonight”

That was from me. Donny McHenry. I said that once it was very obvious early on that it was one of those types of nights.

What’s next?

The Lakers will now welcome into town one of the top teams in the Western Conference this Tuesday, as they face Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and the Phoenix Suns for the first time this season.

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