The Los Angeles Lakers, led by former Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton, conceded all kinds of open shots in their 112-107 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Las Vegas.
On the very first play of the game, Los Angeles doubled a curling Klay Thompson, leaving Stephen Curry open for an easy layup. On the ensuing possession, Kevin Durant hoisted an uncontested three-pointer in transition.
The Lakers were especially helpless trying to cover Thompson, who scored 22 points in 14 minutes. There shouldn't be any doubt that Thompson leading the Warriors in points is a distinct possibility this season. The man lets it fly seemingly every time he touches the ball, and more often than not it goes through the hoop.
Perhaps the best moment in the game came when Durant emulated Curry's signature shot: the turnaround three-pointer. In need of a bailout, the Warriors passed the ball to Durant, who did a quick right jab before launching a 26-footer and turning back on defense before the shot went in.
Durant was making nearly everything he put up in the first half, scoring 17 points on a remarkably efficient 7-8 shooting from the field (he ended the game shooting 7-11). The score was a lopsided 70-47 at the half.
The second half saw mostly the reserves and young guys on the court, who nearly gave away the 30-point lead that the starters had built.
But JaVale McGee had himself a night as he fully showcased his otherworldly athleticism and length on both ends of the court. On one defensive possession, McGee, who hardly needed to jump, inhaled a contested rebound by extending his arm and palming the basketball with one hand. Later in the game, on an offensive possession, he ended Thomas Robinson's life.
McGee ended the game with a solid 12 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Many basketball pundits dismiss McGee for his lack of discipline and feel for the game. But this athletic freak deserves a roster spot if only for his entertainment value in garbage time. The Warriors will blow out lots of teams and games will quickly get boring. So why not have McGee out there pulling off incredible stunts on the floor that most human beings can only dream of doing?