The Los Angeles Lakers return to San Francisco with a five-game chance of ending the streak after a 12-point comeback in the second half on Monday night in Game 4 against the Warriors.
It was a tense, sometimes sloppy game with a wild finale that saw the defending champions look a little flustered and struggle to fulfill themselves in the final minutes. While Anthony Davis had 23 points and 15 rebounds on the night, he was quiet on offense in the fourth quarter and LeBron James wasn’t in his usual, efficient self, scoring 27 points but shooting just 10 of 25 off games. Because the stars weren’t lighting it up, Los Angeles needed someone to step up and had an unexpected source that sparked their fourth-quarter offense: Lonnie Walker IV hit 15 points in the final quarter to lead the Lakers (after , like not taking a shot in the first three), knocking down the hardest shots in the game when needed.
On the other hand, Stephen Curry also had heavy night shooting (12 of 30), but he was great in every other area, posting a triple-double with 31 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds. Unfortunately, he didn’t get the same help throughout the game as the Lakers’ stars and was part of a last-minute crisis that saw the Warriors fail to give the go-ahead or tie the game to a range of opportunities. The first chance came just under a minute before the game, when Davis made up for the quiet offensive quarterback by clamping Curry twice, forcing him to make a couple of hard backtracks that went nowhere.
From there, Walker had to knock down two clutch free throws to give Los Angeles a three-point lead with 15 seconds to play. In the Warriors’ last possession, Draymond Green caught up in the air on the back line and made a pass that Andrew Wiggins missed and ended up in the hands of Anthony Davis.
Wiggins was able to get Golden State to take one last chance in overtime by winning a tip when Curry grabbed the ball and fell to the floor. For some reason, instead of calling the last time-out for the Warriors, Curry just… threw the ball out of bounds, effectively ending the game.
The Golden State issued a Hail Mary challenge to no avail, and the Lakers were able to get the ball and score time in a Game 4 win that gave them a 3-1 series lead. Walker was a Los Angeles hero, earning well-deserved praise from LeBron in a post-game interview, praising the young wing for staying ready and excelling when called on to give the Lakers some juice and young legs. It’s been pretty clear all postseason that James isn’t capable of just throwing the Lakers on his back and hauling them to wins right now, but the Los Angeles-based cast has stepped up in some key moments to give him the help he needs on the nights the AD is gone. to the periphery. On Monday, it was Walker and Austin Reeves (21 points) who stepped up and played a huge role in a big win for the Lakers.
It was a tough shooting night for Golden State overall (12 of 41 of three), with Curry and Klay Thompson teaming up to score 6 of 23, with both missing some, let’s call them daring, shots. stretch. Clay had a couple of wild threes in the fourth quarter that weren’t particularly close, and although Steph got a big four-pointer, he couldn’t win back any of his attempts to fall back on Davis in the fourth quarter. last minute Given his success under the rim all night, it was fair to wonder if Curry, even with all his shooting magic over the years, should have attacked the big man and caused the Lakers to collapse. Golden State had their chances and will be kicking themselves for sloppiness going forward as they squandered a golden opportunity to tie up the situation and reclaim the home court by returning to the Chase Center.