The Golden State Warriors lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 145-144 in an epic double overtime affair. It was a wildly entertaining basketball game that showcased the greatness of Steph Curry and LeBron James, alongside the many flaws of the teams that currently surround them. And as has been the case many times this season, the Warriors finished on the short end of the story. They are now 19-24 and are closer to falling to the 13th seed in the Western Conference than they are to the final play-in spot.
After a back-and-fourth first half, the Warriors started the third quarter strong and built a 15-point lead. Yet, Dubs Nation knows not to expect this Warriors team to put teams away with a third-quarter lead. A Lakers run would cut their deficit to one-possession in just a few minutes and Golden State was trying to hold onto what little momentum they had remaining.
The Warriors did a commendable job holding the Lakers at bay, but when it mattered most in the final minutes of regulation, they were unable to get across the finish line. It would be incorrect to call this blown lead a collapse, but it definitely belongs on the long list of leads the Dubs should not have let slip away.
Trailing 117-114 with 29 seconds remaining, Curry cut into the Lakers lead with a finger roll layup. After Davis split a pair of free throws, Curry drove inside and made another shot around the rim to tie things up at 118 and send the game to overtime.
The longer the game went, the more the Warriors depth was tested. The Lakers went to the free-throw line 43 times while the Dubs got just 16 attempts. Needless to say, Golden State was in far worse foul trouble. Both Thompson and Andrew Wiggins would foul out before the game was over.
The Lakers took a five-point lead early in the second overtime, but the Warriors had another answer in them. A huge three from Thompson made it a one-possession game with just under two minutes to go that set the stage for Curry to put the Warriors ahead with an incredible step back three over Davis.
With the Warriors leading 141-139, an Andrew Wiggins steal gave the Warriors an opportunity to extend their lead. Green found a trailing Brandin Podziemski for an open three from the right wing. A make likely seals the victory. Instead, he missed the shot, and D’Angelo Russell knocked down a triple in transition going the other way to give the Lakers a 142-141 lead.
After Austin Reaves split a pair of free throws, the Warriors had 13 seconds to make up the two-point deficit. An excellent set play left Curry wide open at the top of the key. It was an easy three and Golden State was ahead 144-142.
But Chase Center was celebrating too soon. There was still 4.7 seconds remaining on the clock.
James caught an in-bound pass at the top of the key, and had Podziemski guarding him after the rookie and Kuminga confusingly switched. James drove inside and drew a clear foul. He knocked down both free throws, putting the Lakers ahead for good. He finished the game with 36 points, a career-high 20 rebounds, and 12 assists in nearly 48 minutes of action.
Anthony Davis and D’Angelo Russell combined to score 57 points, with Davis adding 13 rebounds. Jarred Vanderbilt’s length and effort was critical on both ends of the floor, propelling him to a Lakers-high +30 plus/minus.
For the Dubs, it was Steph and everyone else. Curry scored 46 points alongside 7 assists. Thompson (24), Kuminga (22), and Wiggins (22) were the only other Warriors who scored more than 10 points. Green looked like the top version of himself, though, recording 8 points, 14 rebounds, 11 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks, and a game-high +31 plus/minus.