The Los Angeles Lakers began a season-long six-game road trip on Saturday night, taking on the division rival Golden State Warriors.
This marked the first meeting between the Lakers and Warriors from last year’s postseason, and both teams were in desperate need of a win given their current records. Ultimately, it was the Lakers that came out on top with an epic 145-144 double overtime victory.
The Warriors went with a small starting lineup with Draymond Green at center and Anthony Davis was looking strong early as a result, kicking things off with a putback dunk and then a block.
LeBron James also had it going with seven early points to give the Lakers the lead, although as he has done so many times, Stephen Curry immediately responded with a 3-pointer.
Curry got it going from there as the Lakers were leaving him open, and he buried two more with ease. Once Curry went for a rest though, the Laker bench led by Jarred Vanderbilt and Rui Hachimura did a nice job to close the quarter to take a 33-30 lead.
Vanderbilt was everywhere to begin the second with D’Angelo Russell finding him for a dunk to force a Warriors timeout.
Warriors rookie Brandin Podziemski was doing a nice job of keeping his team in it early though, drilling a 3 out a timeout and then Curry came back in and hit one as well to regain the lead.
Christian Wood gave the Lakers good minutes in the second quarter with some tough buckets. Jonathan Kuminga had a similar stretch for Golden State though, capped off with a windmill dunk in transition. He and Andrew Wiggins had the Chase Center crowd going with their buckets down low.
It was a fun half overall with James closing the it with seven straight, including a buzzer beater, to take a 68-63 lead into the locker room.
The Warriors came out with good energy in the third quarter, scoring 10 straight to force a Lakers timeout. Golden State continued to pour it on out of the timeout, taking a double-digit lead and forcing another timeout from Darvin Ham.
Taurean Prince, in particular, was struggling for the Lakers so Ham eventually went to Vanderbilt to spark some energy with his team down 15.
From there though Davis got hit on the leg on a drive to the basket and went down in a lot of pain. He was able to make two free throws but then went back to the locker room.
The Lakers still went on a run from there though with James and Vanderbilt leading the way to get back in it. But it was the Warriors that closed the third strong to take a 99-91 lead.
Davis was eventually able to return early in the fourth quarter after dealing with hip spasms and immediately made a floater. The Lakers continued to claw their way back, getting within two after a three-point play by Davis.
After staying quiet for most of the night, Curry got going when his team needed it with some big shots late. Russell did the same for L.A., catching fire and giving his team a slim lead going into the final couple minutes.
Davis got a big offensive rebound and made a pair of free throws to put the Lakers up three with 28.9 seconds to play. He then blocked a 3-point attempt by Curry, although the latter eventually made a layup to bring his team back within one.
The Warriors then needed to foul and did so on Davis, and he missed one of two. That allowed Curry to tie the game with a layup, sending it to overtime.
Davis found James for a layup to begin overtime, although Draymond Green then scored on the other end. That essentially summed up the overtime period as the two teams traded buckets to keep it close.
After a big layup by Reaves put the Lakers up four, Curry hit a clutch 3 from the corner. He then missed from midrange, however, and Russell put the Lakers up three with a pair at the line.
Steve Kerr drew up a good play out of the timeout to get the struggling Klay Thompson a look and he drilled it to tie the game with 5.9 to play. James then missed a runner at the buzzer, forcing a second overtime.
Russell and James came up big with the first seven points of overtime to put the Lakers up five. The Warriors of course fought back to stay in it though with Curry making big shots to regain the lead for his team.
After a couple costly turnovers by Russell, he came up huge with a 3 to put the Lakers up going into the final seconds.
Again though, Curry hit a clutch shot, this time a 3 to put the Warriors up 144-143 with 4.7 to play. James got the ball on the final possession and drove to the basket, earning a foul. He made both and then Curry missed from halfcourt at the buzzer, securing the win for the Lakers.
James finished with 36 points, 20 rebounds and 12 assists, including the game-winning free throws.
Up next for the Lakers
The Lakers continue their road trip with a back-to-back on Monday and Tuesday, taking on the Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks.
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