Often times, the final score isn’t indicative of the how the actual game played out. A mere three-point win by the best team in the league over the fourth worst squad doesn’t make much sense. But this Laker team, as awful of a season as they’re having, have more fight in them than people give them credit for.

The first quarter was an offensive delight, with both teams finishing with 30 points apiece. No quarter, thereafter, was won by more than four points. While the Golden State Warriors enjoyed the spoils of their dynamic duo, the Lakers’ well-balanced team effort aided in this almost win.

Unfortunately, almost-wins are just losses, and this was a close one, 108-105.

What Went Right

  • Fighters – Yes, the Lakers are counted out of the post-season. Frankly, they were counted out by many even before the season started. It’s true that racking up the losses will aid in their chances for the higher draft picks, and many fans wouldn’t mind that scenario one bit. But as long as former-Laker, Byron Scott is coaching this team, losing intentionally isn’t in the plans. Tonight’s game, and many close games where the Lakers could have and should have won, are a testament to that. Basketball is a game of runs, and against an offensively sound team like the Warriors, a run could jump to a double-digit lead in a second. The two teams, however, responded to each run with a run of their own and the game remained a nail-biter until the final seconds. The visitors led by as much as five points, and Golden State’s largest advantage was nine. There were eight lead changes and 12 ties.
  • Offensive Balance – Highlighted by Jordan Hill’s 15 points and 12 rebounds, the Lakers, again, came to support each other. They had six players in double figures, led by Wayne Ellington and Jordan Clarkson, who chipped in 17 points each. They shot a hot 65% in the first quarter and the Laker bench had 36 points to the Warrior bench’s 28.

What Went Wrong

  • Turnover Town – The Lakers and Warriors were tied 30 all in the first quarter, and the Lakers could have/should have taken advantage of Golden State’s 45.8% shooting. Unfortunately, the Lakers gave up 15 points to those nine errors. In the end, each team scored 20 points off turnovers – a combined 34 giveaways. The Lakers finished with 19 of those 24.

To defeat an almost-perfect team, you have to play an almost perfect game. For the Lakers, shooting 65% in the first quarter was a good start, but constantly turning the ball over made for a lousy ending.


Box Score

Game Highlights:

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