Darvin Ham Believes Lakers Executed Game Plan But Warriors Were Just ‘Scorching Hot’ From 3
Klay Thompson, Gabe Vincent, Lakers, Warriors
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers were already in for a tough battle against the Golden State Warriors as star big man Anthony Davis was unable to suit up thanks to a headache and nausea after getting hit in the eye a couple of days ago. But an all-time great shooting performance by the Warriors completely sunk Darvin Ham’s team.

The Warriors shot an NBA-record 63.4% from deep, making 26 in total to defeat the Lakers by 14 in their regular season home finale. Things started quickly for the Warriors and they never let up. Regardless of what Ham and the Lakers coaching staff tried, they simply couldn’t cool the Warriors down.

Afterward, Ham simply credited the Warriors for their shooting as he felt the Lakers executed their game plan just fine. “I mean, for the most part, I thought just they shot a really good percentage, but they had guys step up and make shots,” Ham said after the loss. “It’s a make-or-miss league. It is what it is. It’s a tough loss for sure.

“They put a lot of pressure on your defense not having AD back there as our conductor communicating and moving around is obviously very, very tough. But we came into the game, felt comfortable with our game plan, and, for the most part, for the majority of the game, we executed it. You have Draymond [Green] go 5-for-5 in the first half, you had Wigs make a couple of 3s. [Brandin] Podziemski, Gary Payton Jr. It’s tough. The guys you want, all NBA players are capable, don’t get me wrong, but the guys you want shooting the ball shot the ball, and when they’re able to hold the water or maintain.

“But those guys making shots, eventually Steph [Curry] and Klay [Thompson] are gonna make their shots. So that made it tough. And then obviously, then a third quarter, I think the last three minutes they went on an 11-0 run or something like that. They were blazing hot. Blazing, blazing hot. But again, we can’t, we don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves, we got to get strapped together and get back on the drawing board, look at the film, and try to make the best of these last two games.”

As Ham said, Green knocking down his first five 3-point attempts is something you just can’t account for. Andrew Wiggins, Brandin Podziemski and Gary Payton II shooting a combined 8-of-11 only makes it even harder as eventually Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are gonna get going as well and the Lakers just couldn’t weather the storm.

Of course not having Davis available made it even more difficult as he is the main communicator for the Lakers on defense and that communication is even more necessary with all of the movement the Warriors do on offense.

“They never stopped moving,” Ham added. “They run a lot of different actions, curl, curl splits, and what have you. Back-door cuts and we try to top lock them. They’re good at going back door, pitching it to an open guy, and then right to an immediate DHO. Everyone just has to be active and alert. And it was certain guys we thought we could shift a little bit more off of, and those guys made shots.

“And so, again, that’s the effect of Klay [Thompson) and Steph [Curry]. Everybody’s gonna be on high alert with those guys running around against their defense. But Jaxson [Hayes], I thought it made some great plays just playing a cat-and-mouse game faking and fading. Bron had some good shifts. We played some good defense, but they were just, again, they made 3s, they were really scorching hot from the 3-point line.”

A team knocking down 26-of-41 3-pointers is just incredible, regardless of the defense being played. The Lakers did their best to try and contain the Warriors without Davis, but there was simply nothing that could be done on this night.

Lakers on verge of falling to 10th in West after loss

The main recent this loss was so crushing to the Lakers, however, is that it gives the Warriors the season series win and tiebreaker. The Lakers and Warriors are now tied in the loss column so if Golden State wins out, the Lakers would fall to 10th in the Western Conference and have to win back-to-back road games in the Play-In Tournament to qualify for the playoffs.

If the Lakers can win their final two games there remains a very slight chance that they could move up, but the odds are greatly stacked against them now.

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