The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Golden State Warriors, 125-120.
The Lakers came out sloppy as they were lax defensively and allowed Marquese Chriss to get off to a solid shooting start and offensively, they committed several careless turnovers. Avery Bradley was able to get the team going a bit as he knocked down a trio of threes to give Los Angeles a lead.
The Lakers offense finally began to click as LeBron James looked to take advantage of his size and strength in the post, but the Warriors were able to answer with a few threes. Despite that, some scoring punch from Rajon Rondo helped Los Angeles go into the second quarter up 33-25.
Dwight Howard was active to begin the quarter as he ran the floor hard for a lob from James and fought for several offensive rebounds. Kyle Kuzma was also aggressive driving to the basket, drawing a pair of trips to the free-throw line in the process.
Howard and Kuzma continued their effective play off the bench for the Lakers as they were able to extend the lead into double digits midway through the period. Golden State was able to go on a run down the stretch and cut into the lead, but Los Angeles still went into halftime up 66-59.
Unlike the beginning of the first half, the Lakers came out much sharper in the third quarter, executing on both ends of the floor and taking complete control of the game. However, a couple of turnovers from James allowed the Warriors to get out in transition and recapture some momentum.
Bradley and Kuzma were able to get Los Angeles back on track by hitting a couple of shots, but Golden State continued to fight back thanks to their bench. Even with their lackluster close to the quarter, the Lakers went into the fourth up 96-84.
Regardless of their youth and inexperience, the Warriors bench played with energy and effort to start the fourth, answering nearly every Lakers basket to keep them within striking distance. Andrew Wiggins, in his first game with Golden State, was a thorn in the team’s side as his ability to knife in the paint caused trouble for their defense.
The Lakers defensive struggles continued as they allowed Jordan Poole to knock down two jumpers to cut their lead to single digits. Golden State was able to make a run in the final minutes, but a deep three-pointer from James served as the dagger and gave Los Angeles the win.