With Davis sitting out as he nurses shoulder and rib injuries, James was heavily involved early as he scored five quick points and added three assists. However, Davis’ inside presence on defense was sorely missed as the Warriors scored 10 of their first 15 points at the rim.
Los Angeles had yet to get off to a hot shooting start during the 2019-20 NBA season, but they were able to take advantage of Golden State’s porous defense as they knocked down 12 of their first 15 field goal attempts, including 5-of-7 from three-point range. They would wind up with 38 points and a 12-point lead heading into the second.
Dwight Howard was once again active on both ends as he was able to take advantage of the Warriors smaller bench unit and rack up boards and convert on some easy opportunities in the paint. He and the rest of the bench continued to shoot well and helped extend the Lakers lead.
Even with James back in the lineup, the Warriors finally began to show some signs of life as they were able to turn four straight Lakers turnovers into eight points and narrow the deficit. However, Los Angeles was able to regroup and recapture the momentum as they managed to keep their 12-point lead at the end of the half.
It did not take long for the Lakers to heat back up on offense as they managed to go on an 11-2 run to push the lead to 21 near the midway point of the third. James was masterful on offense as he was directly responsible for almost all of their field goals, either passing to the open man or looking for his own shot when left open.
Los Angeles bigs also had their way in the period as both JaVale McGee and Howard were able to get free for uncontested dunks and layins. Their efforts helped put the Lakers up 16 going into the fourth.
Up double digits, head coach Frank Vogel opted to start the final quarter with a full bench lineup that did a good job of competing on defense and extending the lead.
The Warriors had no answers on the defensive end as the Lakers — particularly Quinn Cook — had their way getting to the basket.