The Golden State Warriors defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 121-106, cutting their Western Conference Semifinals deficit to 3-2. Now, the Warriors will need to win a game on the road if they want to keep their season alive.
Attempting to come back from a 3-1 series deficit, it’s hard for Dub Nation to get too excited about one win, especially when they still need to win a game on the road to force a Game 7. However, the Warriors showcased some things that should encourage fans about their ability to string together two more wins.
Steph Curry and Draymond Green led the way for the Warriors, the story for much of this dynasty. Curry recorded 27 points and 8 assists on 50% shooting from the field in spite of a relatively inefficient night from three-point range (3-for-11). Green lived dangerously all evening with the referees and committed five turnovers, but his intensity translated to his best overall performance of the series. He needed just 11 field-goal attempts to score 20 points and added 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and a block.
Gary Payton II continues to look like the Warriors best option in the starting lineup against Los Angeles. Payton was 4-for-5 from the field (1-for-2 from three), and was a huge reason that none of D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, and Dennis Schröder were ever able to take control of the game. He finished with a +19 plus/minus.
Andrew Wiggins also had his best performance of the series, recording 25 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists on 10-for-18 shooting from the field (2-for-5 from three). Wiggins was the Warriors’ second-most consistent contributor throughout Golden State’s championship run last year. It’s no secret that his absence for much of the regular season played a huge role in the team’s mediocrity. On Wednesday night, Wiggins was stout defensively, tenacious on the glass, and aggressively looking for his shot. Most importantly, he made the Lakers pay when they left him open.
Klay Thompson continued to struggle offensively, finishing with 10 points on 3-for-12 shooting from the field. Then again, Dub Nation could view it as a positive that the Warriors were able to get a win without a Splash Brother meeting expectations. With Game 6 on the horizon, murmurs of “Game 6 Klay” are sure to emerge in the lead-up to Friday’s matchup. We’ll see if he can live up to his reputation.
Jordan Poole’s outside shooting struggles continued, with the young guard finishing 1-for-6 from behind the arc. However, unlike many of his low moments throughout the postseason, Poole stayed within the flow of the offense more consistently. Yes, he forced a couple of unnecessary deep threes, but he also was 4-for-8 from inside the arc and had 4 assists without a turnover. He was playable, something that was not true in Game 5.
Yet few eyes will be on the Warriors in the lead-up to Game 6. Instead, they will be on Lakers star Anthony Davis’ health. Davis left the game in the fourth quarter after Kevon Looney’s forearm inadvertently hit him in the face in the fight for a rebound. Davis looked visibly shaken up on the play, and according to TNT’s sideline reporter Chris Haynes, was brought back to the locker room in a wheelchair for further evaluation. With less than 48 hours before a pivotal Game 6, it’s hard to imagine Davis playing if he suffered a concussion.
Both teams will now head to southern California for Game 6 on Friday night in front of the Lakers’ home crowd. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. PT.