The Lakers take a direct flight to eternity

They return everything. It’s what the Lakers do, time and time again. It doesn’t matter who is in front. Who is the rival. They are a rock, a very tough team that can with anyone and that resists, over and over again, any attack. The Warriors lost the game they have always won: the one that equalizes a tie that is going uphill for them, with a Stephen Curry for the annals and important advantages to sentence whoever they have in front of them. This time it was not like that: and no, they are not the best of the last 8 years that have made up the last great dynasty of the NBA, that of the 4 rings and the 6 Finals. But they are still the Warriors, something that we cannot forget even with the 3-1 down that they now have in front of them, their biggest challenge. They have three ahead win or go homeAt least if the first two win. The Lakers, three match ball. And all after an epic, titanic, memorable game, one of those that make up the rivalry that the San Francisco team has had in recent times with LeBron James. And not even like that at the end of an era, we must give up the current champions. They have earned the right to it. But

A magical night was lived in the Crypto Arena. With Jack Nicholson back in the stands (for a reason), in his usual front row seat, the Lakers survived everything. They came to go 12 down, they had the best Curry ahead. And yet they won. Such a game was expected: the need for the Warriors to even the series was the same as that of the Angels to make it 3-1, not to travel to the Chase Center with a dangerous 2-2. In NBA history, the balance with this type of result is 264-13, a figure that is very favorable to the Lakers. But LeBron knows well that this result can be traced: he himself did it, leading the pack, in 2016. Today he put a stopper on Curry that takes us back to those Finals, 9 minutes from the end of the game, which bears certain similarities to what happened then with Andre Iguodala. Although, in reality, everything leads us to the memory of the epic duels of the past while we enjoy the battle of the present.

The Lakers started the fourth quarter down 4 (80-84) and rowed, driven by Lonnie Walker IV. Another wise decision from Darvin Ham, who is setting up a real revolution and winning the game against one of the, for sure, 5 best coaches of all time, Steve Kerr. The shooting guard scored his 15 points in the final 12 minutes, struggled on defense and went a good 6 of 9 from the field. Curry scored a layup and then a 3+1 to give the Warriors the lead (88-90). He then assisted Moses Moody and, after two Andrew Wiggins free throws, he converted again. Opposite, the Angelenos continued to return everything and continued in the game. Even despite a triple from the corner of Klay Thompson that is usually what tips the scales and sentences the rival. At that time, the result was 96-99. There was a reaction: two free throws from LeBron, a suspension from Walker and two more free throws from the King. Curry replied: 102-101. And that’s as far as the Warriors. A long rebound caught by Lonnie and his success from the personal left only one option for the Warriors. Earlier Curry, paired with Anthony Davis, missed a jump shot and a 3-pointer. After the time to try to force extra time, the champions lost the ball, forced a jump ball between two and lost it again. Curry did not give for more. And the Lakers won the game.

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It was an extraordinary game: the Lakers loaded Curry a lot in the last quarter through LeBron, they became strong and tired the point guard, who at 35 years old comes from a series of 7 games against the Kings and today he had to return to go above 40 minutes (almost 42). He had a historically good performance: 31 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists (the third triple-double of his playoff career)He did everything, he was in everything and he was a huge danger in a sustained way. Not even the Warriors won. Nor with the 15 goals from Gary Payton II, introduced into the starting lineup in exchange for JaMychal Green (who barely played 2 minutes) in another adjustment by Steve Kerr. Not even with Draymond Green’s 8+10+7. Klay Thompson was not good, he barely scored 9 points. Much emphasis was placed on refereeing again, with Kerr working hard and again more attempts for the Lakers (20, without a miss), than for the Warriors (9 of 12). The situation was fixed in the second half (11 to 9 in visits to the staff), but the difference in styles is what it is: the Lakers attack the zone more, seek more contact and take more fouls. The Warriors rely more on the triple and get less. The difference in attempts from there was 41 to 25. Nobody was right: San Francisco stayed at 29% and the Angelenos at 24%. The game was won on defense. The first quarter, which ended 22-21, was a good example of that. And the game hasn’t changed since then.

The Lakers continue to do their thing, with this fantastic revolution that is being more than fun. To see, to enjoy. Or suffer, in the case of the Warriors. LeBron goes further and had a great game. The Lakers returned to the plan that their teams have had all their lives: to give him the ball and let him decide. He only missed for Walker to score his shots. The King, who can now really think about claiming his crown, went to 27 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists, somewhat erratic in shooting (10 of 25), thanks to his constant poor percentage in three-pointers (2 of 9). , but well from the zone, unstoppable when he charges at it with his strength, still inexhaustible despite his 38 years and his 20 seasons in the NBA. Anthony Davis was also unstoppable, again on both sides of the court (23+15+2+3). Dennis Schröder did what he could with Curry and got 10 points, while Austin Reaves made us forget the lousy performance of D’Angelo Russell (1 of 10 shooting) and went to 21 points in one, another, great exercise in personality. The addition of Walker took playing time away from Jarred Vanderbilt and Rui Hachimura. But it went well for Darvin Ham, who continues to chain one success after another. 3-1 and travel to the Chase Center. The work is not done yet. The Warriors sure have a say in what is the biggest challenge of their dynasty. But you shouldn’t give them up for dead. That never. They have earned that right.

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