Lakers grab 2-1 lead in West semis
Turns out James and his Lakers were just taking a while to warm up before they steamrolled the Golden State Warriors.
Anthony Davis had 25 points and 13 rebounds, a slow-starting James finished with 21 points, eight assists and eight rebounds, and the Lakers took a 2-1 lead in their second-round playoff series with a 127-97 victory Sunday (PH time).
D’Angelo Russell hit five 3-pointers while scoring 21 points for the seventh-seeded Lakers, who remained unbeaten at home in the postseason with a strong defensive effort against the reigning NBA champions. Los Angeles seized control in the middle quarters, outscoring the Warriors 63-38 to turn Game 3 into a blowout.
James curiously didn’t shoot the ball until well into the second quarter, yet he led the way while Los Angeles pulled away. The 38-year-old also mixed in a handful of plays that defied his age and 20 years of NBA experience, making a deft spin move and blocking a shot on the other end shortly after he leaped the front row of fans and ran well up into the stands following a deflection.
Stephen Curry scored 23 points and Andrew Wiggins had 16 in a collective stinker for the Warriors, who committed 19 turnovers and never mounted a response to the Lakers on either end in the second half. Golden State went 13 for 44 on 3-pointers — making just 10 while the game was still competitive — after hitting 21 in each of the series’ first two games in San Francisco.
Game 4 is Monday night in Los Angeles (Tuesday, PH time).
Davis had an impressive bounce-back game under both baskets, blocking four shots and leading the Lakers’ latest strong defensive effort. Los Angeles has built its 16-5 run since March 17 on defense, and the Warriors couldn’t hit enough shots from the perimeter to counteract their disadvantages in size and athleticism. (AP)