He finished the night going an efficient 13 for 21 from the field, and made all 11 of his free throws. I will admit, the Lakers got many more calls than the Warriors did. Whether or not there is more to it, I can’t say, but I suppose one could chalk it up to savvy play and good defense on our end! Overall, it seemed like a good mix of team play within the offense and then a dash of Mamba Magic towards the end to wrap it all up.
I also had a couple random thoughts and anecdotes to add about the Warriors-Lakers connection. I had no idea that Vlad Radmanovic was on Golden State! I can’t say I was sorry to see him leave because he was pretty terrible, so it was amusing to see him on the other side of the court. And I absolutely couldn’t believe the monstrous dunk he threw down in the third quarter! He ran down the lane and slammed it home- I didn’t know he had it in him.
Lastly, our wonderfully clutch co-captain Derek Fisher played for the Golden State Warriors during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. He escaped after the epic collapse that was the Lakers’ 2003-04 Finals campaign, but luckily came back to where he belongs in 2007 after a stint with the Utah Jazz as well. In any case, I went to a game at Staples Center with my dad in 2005 and saw the Lakers play the Warriors. It was very odd to see D Fish in an orange jersey, but wonderful to see him in LA all the same. I always enjoyed seeing him do well, even if it wasn’t always in purple and gold.
Ironically, I wasn’t that nervous during the game even when we were down. I think it is mainly due to the fact that the Warriors were playing well and the Lakers were tired and playing for the second day in a row, this time on the road. I don’t want to say that I expected less of them (I always expect them to play hard and win); I just wasn’t going to be as upset as usual if things didn’t go our way at the end. The Lakers came alive in the 4th, but the Warriors wouldn’t back down. It was a great battle to watch, definitely more entertaining than the other games between the two clubs this year.
It’s always good to get wins on the second night of a back-to-back, so I was very pleased even if the Lakers seemed a bit tired from their drubbing of Cleveland the night before. Los Angeles actually has the fewest back-to-backs on their schedule in the NBA- only 7 more for this season. January has been very kind to the Lakers as well: they have won six in a row and are 6-1 overall. It’s definitely a fantastic way to start off the New Year.