At times, last night’s game wasn’t pretty for the Golden State Warriors. In fact, pockets of the game was downright hideous. In the first quarter, the Dubs’ defense couldn’t seem to stop a nose bleed.
Powered by a 40-point second quarter, the Warriors seized the lead at the end of the first half, and never let go. They survived a couple of Lakers’ runs that cut the lead within six, and held on to beat the Lakers 124-103.
Granted, the victory didn’t come with much star power. The Lakers rested Anthony Davis and LeBron James and most of their starters while the Warriors played their healthy starters in what can be considered a “dress rehearsal” before the regular season. Here are a few observations from last night’s win.
Russell Breaks Through
D’Angelo Russell’s adjustment to the Warriors and their offense hasn’t been as seamless as hoped. He’s struggled for most of the preseason with learning the ways of Warriors’ motion offense. Last night could be considered a pivotal point in his process. Russell finished with a line of 29 points, three rebounds and three assists. He also shot 6-for-11 from deep.
While Russell was fine offensively last night, his struggles on defense still remained. The Lakers repeatedly attacked him on the perimeter and thrived. He admitted to reporters that his defense is something that he must improve upon.
“There are a lot of things on the defensive end I can get better at,” Russell told the Athletic’s Anthony Slater after the game, “Figuring out the coverages we’re in, getting accustomed to those things. It’s easy to make shots in this league, but it’s about doing other things,”
Steph STEPHS regardless
For whatever reason, Stephen Curry tends to struggle against the Lakers. Those struggles are amplified whenever the Warriors visit Staples Center. Despite shooting 9-for-20 from the field and 6-for-15 from three, Curry managed to score 32 points in 32 minutes of play, leading all scorers. Despite his struggles on offense, Curry continued to impact the game with his playmaking off the ball and generating easy, open looks for others while having the ball in his hands. Curry also hustled on the defensive end. In the second half, he forced his man into some tough shots and played solid help defense.
Hustle of Young Dubs sparks second quarter turnaround
In the first quarter, the Warriors starters were in a 14-point hole to the depleted Lakers. Kentavious Caldwell Pope, Zach Norvell could not seem to miss. The Warriors’ defense on the perimeter and else where was non existent. The Dubs once again struggled to rebound. However, the energy shifted late in the fourth quarter. Curry was flanked by Jacob Evans, Jordan Poole, and Omari Spellman and that unit cut the Lakers’ lead to one at the end of the quarter.
In the second quarter, that same lineup, this time with Russell at the point continued to scrap and hustle on both ends of the floor to help the Warriors win the quarter 40-23. They forced timely turnovers and capitalized off them in transition. Jordan Poole scored eight points on the night after struggling during the last two games. Eric Paschall added 11 points and seven rebounds as he too continues to impress and strive for minutes in the rotation.