Warriors defeated the Lakers once again to escape the Elimination.
Draymond Green admired Golden State’s defensive ferocity against LeBron James and believes the Warriors must bring that same zeal to Los Angeles if they are to salvage this tumultuous season and defend their title.
Whether or not Lakers star Anthony Davis is clogging up the middle after suffering a head injury in the fourth quarter, they need the same intensity.
Stephen Curry had 27 points and eight assists, and Andrew Wiggins had 25 points, seven rebounds, and five assists as the Warriors beat the Lakers 121-106 in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals on Wednesday night.
With this core group, the Warriors have previously rallied on the big postseason stage, becoming the first defending champion to come back from 2-0 down to defeat Sacramento in the first round.
James led Los Angeles with 25 points and nine rebounds. Davis finished with 23 points and nine rebounds.
Davis grimaced and grabbed his head before heading to the locker room. His status for Game 6 on Friday night in Los Angeles is unknown.
“Obviously, everyone saw him take a shot to the head, but we just checked on him, and he seems to be doing really well,” Ham said. “That’s exactly where he is. That is the current state of affairs.”
With 5:25 remaining, Austin Reaves hit a 3-pointer to cut the Warriors’ lead to 104-95, only for Curry to respond with five straight points, then hit another big shot after Russell connected from deep.
Green had 20 points and 10 rebounds as Golden State played tough defense that led to more offensive opportunities, just as coach Steve Kerr had challenged his team to do.
“Our defensive mindfulness was there,” Curry explained.
Warriors vs Lakers
Now it’s back to Los Angeles, where the Lakers are 5-0 at home this postseason, having won eight consecutive home games since losing to the Bulls on March 26.
For the second time in franchise history, Golden State is attempting to rally from a 3-1 series deficit and will try to win one more game to bring Game 7 back to Chase Center on Sunday. In the 2016 Western Conference finals against Oklahoma City, the Warriors rallied from a 3-1 deficit.
Curry hit a 3-pointer over Lonnie Walker IV to beat the halftime buzzer, giving the Warriors a 70-59 lead. Golden State scored 70 points in the first half, its most in the playoffs since scoring 72 in a Game 6 first-round win over the Clippers in 2019. Phoenix scored 71 points in the first half of a playoff game against the Lakers in Game 4 of the 2000 second round.
Green and Wiggins took turns guarding James, and Golden State attempted to disrupt Davis’ rhythm after he had 23 points, 15 rebounds, three steals, and two assists in Game 4.
Following his third career playoff triple-double in a 104-101 Game 4 loss, Curry shot 12 for 24 but only 3 for 11 from long range.
“I have a lot of confidence we can come back in this series,” Curry said. “And we’ll keep thinking that way until something changes.”