The Los Angeles Lakers traveled to take on the Golden State Warriors on Friday night, which marked the preseason debut of both LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. Anthony Davis didn’t play, however, as he sat out for rest after playing the Lakers’ first two preseason games.
While the Lakers showed some fight in a late comeback attempt, they ultimately fell short in a 121-114 loss to the Warriors.
As has been the case in all of the Lakers’ preseason games so far, both teams got off to a sloppy start. It was Stephen Curry that had the first bucker on a layup more than two minutes into the game, and then Malik Monk immediately responded with a three. This marked Monk’s first start in a Lakers uniform after impressing off the bench in the first two preseason games.
DeAndre Jordan also got the start for L.A. and got a couple of early easy buckets with James and Monk finding him to five the Lakers a 7-2 lead.
The sloppiness for both teams continued for the remainder of the first quarter. That includes Westbrook, who had six turnovers and didn’t score in his first quarter as a Laker.
Ironically enough, it was Dwight Howard that helped the Lakers get settled in by crashing the offensive glass and earning a few easy buckets. Kendrick Nunn also came off the bench and drilled a three late in the first quarter, which was quickly matched by Stephen Curry so the Lakers’ lead was 25-21 through one quarter.
The Warriors got going from behind the arc a bit to start the second quarter with former Laker Avery Bradley hitting one and Juan Toscano-Anderson knocking down two to give them their first lead of the game.
Westbrook finally got on the scoreboard with a layup late in the second quarter, and he also began to do what he does best, and that’s playmake for others by finding Kent Bazemore for a pair of threes.
The Lakers again went cold to end the half, however, while Curry and the Warriors got going to take a 59-49 lead into the locker room.
As was expected to be the case, both Westbrook and James did not play the second half for the Lakers. Westbrook finished with two points, seven rebounds, four assists and seven turnovers in 17 minutes while James had nine points, three rebounds and two assists in 18 minutes.
The third quarter was all Warriors as Jordan Poole went on a scoring barrage to expand their lead to more than 20. The Lakers closed the quarter strong, at least, to get the deficit back down to 14.
L.A. continued to cut into the deficit to begin the fourth as Austin Reaves hit a three and Kendrick Nunn scored five straight. When Rajon Rondo found Howard for an alley-oop, they found themselves trailing by just six.
Rondo and Howard took advantage of their experience playing together as the lobs seemed to be flying left and right with the Lakers playing their best basketball of the preseason to close it out.
The Lakers got the deficit all the way down to one with three minutes to play thanks to a highlight dunk by Talen Horton-Tucker and driving layup by Rondo. That was close as they would get though as the Warriors pulled back ahead late to secure the victory, dropping the Lakers to 0-3 this preseason.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!