Anthony Davis had 25 points and 13 rebounds, a slow-starting LeBron James finished with 21 points, eight assists and eight rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers took a 2-1 lead in their second-round playoff series with a 127 win. -97. over the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 on Saturday night.
D’Angelo Russell hit five 3-pointers and scored 21 points for the seventh-seeded Lakers, who remained unbeaten at home in the postseason with a strong defensive effort against the defending NBA champions.
James didn’t shoot in the first quarter for the first time in his NBA-record 275 playoff appearances, but he warmed up in time to lead several runs in the second and third quarters as Los Angeles pulled away.
Stephen Curry scored 23 points and Andrew Wiggins had 16 in a stinking collective for the Warriors, who committed 19 turnovers and never responded to the Lakers on either end in the second half. Golden State was 13-for-44 on 3-pointers, making just 10 while the game was still competitive, after making 21 in each of the first two games of the series in San Francisco.
Game 4 is Monday night in Los Angeles.
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Davis had an impressive rebounding game under both baskets after contributing minimally in Game 2, blocking four shots and leading the Lakers’ last strong defensive effort. Los Angeles has built its 16-5 streak since March 17 on defense, and the Warriors couldn’t hit enough perimeter shots to offset their size and athleticism disadvantages.
Klay Thompson had 15 points and seven rebounds for the Warriors, but the rest of the roster beyond their top three scorers struggled, combining for just 18 points before coach Steve Kerr pulled his starters with 9:11 per game. play. Draymond Green scored two points in 23 minutes while playing into foul trouble.
The Warriors stayed under 100 points for the fifth time in 92 games this season.
The rivals split two games in San Francisco to open the series, with the Warriors earning a 27-point blowout victory in Game 2 after dropping the opener.
But this long-awaited playoff rematch between generational superstars James and Curry has featured more trash time than memorable thrills over the past two games. After Lakers coach Darvin Ham sat his stars out before the fourth quarter of Game 2, Kerr pulled the plug while facing a 26-point deficit early in the fourth quarter of Game 3.
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James began Game 3 making a clear effort to be a playmaker, but didn’t even take his first shot until there was 8:02 left in the first half. He hit a free throw for his first point with 6:32 remaining, and subsequently led a rally that pushed the Lakers in front to stay.
JaMychal Green remained in the Warriors’ starting lineup even with Kevon Looney available to play in Game 3. Looney missed Game 2 with illness.
James’ son, Bronny, announced his decision to play for the University of Southern California about two hours before kickoff. The 18-year-old was among the top uncompromised recruits in the nation, choosing to stay close to home with a Trojans-laden team coming off its third straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Bronny James, USC hoops coach Andy Enfield and Trojans football coach Lincoln Riley attended Game 3.
Warriors: The Los Angeles-born Thompson grew up a Lakers fan in Orange County, and this series is his first chance to play the 17-time NBA champion franchise in the postseason. His father, Mychal, is the Lakers’ radio color commentator, and his brother, Trayce, plays for the Dodgers. … Andre Iguodala has increased his workload and should return to practice next week, Kerr said. The veteran has been out since March 13 after undergoing surgery on his left wrist. It’s not likely he’ll play in this series, but he could return later in the postseason. … Moses Moody received a flagrant foul in the second quarter for tripping Davis while he was sprawled on the ground after Davis blocked his shot.
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Lakers: James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for fifth place on the NBA career playoff rebounding list. … Backup center Mo Bamba missed his third straight game with a left ankle injury. … Another celebrity-studded crowd gathered for the Lakers’ longest playoff run at their home stadium since 2012. Courtside fans included Michael B. Jordan, Kim Kardashian, Woody Harrelson, Don Cheadle, Dustin Hoffman, Nia Long, Adele, Andy Garcia, Kevin Hart and quarterback Bryce Young, a Pasadena native and Carolina’s first overall pick in last month’s NFL draft.