The Golden State Warriors nearly pulled off a massive comeback on Tuesday night at the Chase Center.
That push, however, started just a little too late.
Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers held on to beat the Warriors 117-112 in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinals series in San Francisco. That gave the Lakers, who got out of the play-in before beating the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs, a 1-0 series lead.
Davis was absolutely dominant in the win, too. Davis finished with 30 points, 23 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks while shooting 11 of 19 from the field.
“We know they’re the same defending champions, man,” Davis said on TNT. “We saw what they did against Sac … No lead is safe with them. Obviously, you saw they could get hot at any moment. It’s just the mindset for our team, knowing that if we can win in this building we can beat this team. It’s a confidence booster for us.”
Though the Lakers felt like they were a full step ahead in the second half, the Warriors rallied right back in the final minutes. After falling into a 14-point hole in the fourth quarter, the Warriors mounted a 14-0 run over a nearly five-minute span capped by a pair of huge 3-pointers from Jordan Poole and Stephen Curry.
Curry’s final 3-pointer, however, was the last bucket Golden State made. The Lakers held the Warriors scoreless the rest of the way and knocked down a few free throws in the final seconds to take the five-point win.
The first half was a battle, and immediately set the tone for what should be a great series in California. Davis dropped 23 of his 30 points in the first half and led the Lakers to a one-point lead at the break. The Warriors, led by 18 first-half points from Klay Thompson, made 13 3-pointers in the first 24 minutes. The Lakers, on the other hand, went 1 of 8 from behind the arc.
The Lakers separated briefly in the third, thanks to a big 13-3 run to put them up by double digits for the first time all night. Golden State didn’t go away for very long, though, and got right back into it thanks in part to a wild Gary Payton II dunk over James. The slam, however, somehow left the elder Payton largely unimpressed.
"I see the dunk but you need to lock someone down" pic.twitter.com/3VMdiYvbNx
— CJ Fogler account may or may not be notable (@cjzero) May 3, 2023
The Lakers stretched their lead back to eight at the end of the third, and they got three free points in the final minutes after Draymond Green picked up a technical foul for arguing with an official over a foul he was called for that sent Davis to the free-throw line. The Lakers were an impressive 21 of 23 from the free-throw line after three quarters, and the Warriors had attempted just five shots from the stripe.
That led to the Warriors’ late push, which was stopped just short.
Curry led Golden State with 27 points in the loss, and Thompson finished with 25 points. Poole added 21 points off the bench, too. That trio went a combined 18 of 40 from behind the arc. Kevon Looney added 10 points and 23 rebounds. He's now recorded at least 20 rebounds in four games so far this postseason.
James added 22 points and 11 rebounds to Davis' 30-point night. Dennis Schröder finished with 19 points off the bench, and D'Angelo Russell put up 19 points and 6 assists. Despite making just six shots from behind the arc, the Lakers shot almost 47% from the field as a team and made 25 free throws. Most importantly, they've won 15 of their last 19 games.
Game 2 of the series is set for Thursday night in San Francisco.