The Los Angeles Lakers are finally back on a winning streak after blowing out the Golden State Warriors.
Picking up where they left off from their win against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Lakers swarmed on defense which allowed them to race out to a 41-21 lead in the first quarter. Although Golden State showed some signs of life, Los Angeles did not let up and eventually went into halftime up 29 points.
Draymond Green was ruled out of the second half with a sprained ankle, all but ensuring the Lakers would walk with their second consecutive victory. The performance was a far cry from their meltdown in January when they let the Warriors overcome a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter and lost in the overtime period.
“Our starters played terrific. I think that’s a part of it,” said Lakers head coach Frank Vogel when asked about Dennis Schroder being a +32.
“Anytime you look at the plus-minus, it’s the player but it’s also the group that he’s out there with. I think our starters had a mindset to make sure we took care of business against a team that stole one the last time they were here. They really came out motivated in that first quarter.”
L.A.’s loss to Golden State was arguably their worst of the season as they had control of the game for most of the second half before completely stalling out in the fourth. It was a clear example of a team playing as though the game was over and they were forced to pay for it by losing in embarrassing fashion.
However, this time around they made sure to play hard on both ends from the jump and thus were rewarded an easy victory. LeBron James only needed to play 24 minutes as the rematch was basically over by halftime. The Lakers even got a look at Damian Jones, who recently signed a 10-day contract.
The Lakers get a much tougher test on Tuesday when they take on the Phoenix Suns, but if they play the way they did against the Warriors they should conceivably come away with another victory over a division opponent.
Vogel explains what went wrong with Lakers against Warriors on MLK Day
The Lakers looked much more prepared to play the Warriors this time around as they limited them offensively while exploiting them for easy baskets. Vogel detailed what he thought his roster did wrong the first time the two teams played.
“We could’ve done some things differently on both sides of the ball,” he said. “We didn’t stay in attack mode when we had that lead; not just in the fourth, but early in the game — second and third quarters. We didn’t respect their defense, to be honest with you.
“They’re great with their hands, great forcing turnovers, and we didn’t do a good enough job handling that.”
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