The defending NBA champion Lakers weren’t messing around on their business trip to the Bay Area on Monday night.
Over the past two matchups, the Lakers have beaten the Warriors by a combined 57 points while shooting 56% from the field. It is safe to say that the Lakers didn’t forget about the Warriors 113-115 upset in their first matchup in January and wanted nothing more than to prove that their fourth-quarter collapse was nothing but a fluke.
As usual, Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 27 points on 52% shooting, but Lebron’s 4th triple-double of the season and Montrez Harrell’s 27 points off the bench were too much for the two-time league MVP to overcome.
Here are three takeaways from the Warriors blowout loss.
Points In The Paint
One of the Warrior’s goals this offseason was to add size to their roster. They achieved that by adding James Wiseman and surrounding the perimeter with long, athletic wings in Oubre and Wiggins, but against the Lakers, size wasn’t a factor. The Lakers scored 68 points in the paint even without Anthony Davis, and Montrez Harrell had one of his best performances off the bench with 27 points and five rebounds. The Lakers took advantage of the Warrior’s over-commitment on defense. They put tremendous pressure on their inexperienced frontcourt by utilizing high pick and rolls, strategic backdoor cuts, and identifying mismatches.
No Love From The Charity Stripe
The Dubs left more than a handful of points at the charity stripe against the Lakers, and they failed to convert 8 of them, leaving them at 66% for the game. Missed free throws have been a recurring theme this season in the Bay. The Warriors are currently ranked 22nd in the league in field goal percentage this season. Out of the Warriors starting five, only Stephen Curry and Kevon Looney are shooting over 80% from the charity stripe. A key to the Warrior’s previous success was their ability to cash in at the line. If they want to enhance their chance to win, they have to find success in this area of the floor.
Defense Couldn’t Stop The Bleeding
The defense has been one of the Warrior’s main focal points this season. Steve Kerr understands that his team’s success relies on their ability to generate defensive stops and run the open floor, but they couldn’t stop the bleeding tonight. Golden State held their own throughout the first half, but once the Lakers turned the faucet on, there was no turning it off. Five Lakers players ended with double-digit points. The defending champs were firing on all cylinders and were not going to be denied a victory tonight.
The Warriors are 1-5 in their last six games. They will look to turn things around against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday at 5 pm.