The Lakers bounced back from a steep Game 2 loss to take a 2-1 lead at home on Saturday with a 127-97 victory over the Warriors in Game 3 of their second-round playoff series. Here’s what you need to know:
- Los Angeles center Anthony Davis led all scorers with 25 points; He added 13 rebounds, four blocks and three steals. LeBron James and D’Angelo Russell scored 21 points each.
- Stephen Curry paced Golden State with 23 points on 9-of-21 shooting (4-of-10 from 3-point range). The Warriors shot 39.6 percent from the field overall.
- The Lakers went 28-for-37 from the free-throw line, while the Warriors made 12 of 17 free-throw attempts.
- Game 4 is Monday at 10 p.m. ET.
Los Angeles stifled Golden State’s offense
The Lakers fell into an 11-point hole early in the second quarter as Russell went cold and James deferred the opening quarter to his teammates. In the first 15 minutes, the Warriors were still on pace to hit 20 3s, as they had done in the first two games of the series in Golden State. But this game changed once the Lakers started drawing turnovers and fouls.
At halftime, the Lakers outscored the Warriors 17-4 off turnovers and 15-4 from the free-throw line. Able to draw fouls from James and Davis and limit the Warriors offense from doing anything outside of Curry’s shotmaking, a 22-point turnaround from the second quarter would set up and define Game 3. — Murray
The third quarter again made the difference
In Game 2, the Warriors embarrassed the Lakers, leading by 30 late in the third quarter. The Lakers came back from a 34-point lead in Game 3. It’s a 45-point turn, through garbage time dumps and slots. But the series was tied 1-1, and the Lakers needed to hold on to home-court advantage. The stakes aren’t as high in Game 3 Saturday as Game 4 will be on Monday night.
If the Lakers are shocked by how Game 2 played out Saturday night and their home crowd, expect the Warriors to respond accordingly to the humiliation — especially with the Lakers taking a 3-1 lead. — Murray
What went wrong with the Warriors?
Let’s start with the second quarter of the disaster. They went up 40-29. That’s when Klay Thompson didn’t even look when Curry threw a hit-ahead pass in transition. Curry yelled in frustration. That’s nine second-quarter turnovers and one of the signs of impending decay.
Moses Moody was whistled for tripping Davies. Draymond Green and JaMychal Green argued their way through Tech. Draymond was benched in foul trouble. The Warriors scored just 18 points in the second quarter and went 11-of-11 to end the half on a 30-8 run. — Slater
What questions need to be answered before a big Game 4?
Does Golden State stick with JaMychal Green in the starting lineup? It worked well in Game 2, but the Lakers counter-adjusted their matchups, pulling Davis away from Draymond Green and letting him squeeze back to the paint. JaMychal missed all three of his 3s, and the Warriors were outscored by 11 points in his 10 minutes. They could go even smaller and go to Jordan Poole, but he hasn’t played well. Their traditional starters (including Kevon Looney) have always been coach Steve Kerr’s security blanket, but the gap is narrowing and Looney’s recent illness appears to have diminished his impact somewhat.
The Warriors need better displays from their big names. Draymond Green fouled out five times and was limited to 23 minutes. Thompson missed nine of his 14 shots and committed six turnovers. Curry was very quiet. — Slater
The highlight of the game
In Game 2, the Warriors scored a combined 84 points in the second and third quarters (43 and 41 points). In Game 3, they were He scored just 38 runs (18 and 20 points).
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(Photo: Gary A. Vasquez / USA Today)