The defending NBA champion Lakers weren’t messing around on their business trip to the Bay Area on Monday night.
Over the past two matchups, the Lakers have beaten the Warriors by a combined 57 points while shooting 56% from the field. It is safe to say that the Lakers didn’t forgot about the Warriors 113-115 upset in their first matchup in January, and wanted nothing more than to prove that their fourth quarter collapse was nothing but a fluke.
As usual, Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 27 points on 52% shooting, but Lebron’s 4th triple-double of the season and Montrez Harrell’s 27 points off the bench was too much for the two time league MVP to overcome.
Here are three takeaway’s from the Warriors blowout loss.
Points In The Paint
One of the Warriors goals this offseason was to add size to their roster. They achieved that by adding James Wiseman, and by surrounding the perimeter with lengthy athletic wings in Oubre and Wiggins, but against the Lakers, size wasn’t a factor. Even without Anthony Davis, the Lakers scored 68 points in the paint. Montrez Harrell had one of his best performances of the season off the bench with 27 points and 5 rebounds. The Lakers took advantage of the Warriors over commitment on defense, and put tremendous pressure on the their inexperienced frontcourt by utilizing high pick and rolls, strategic backdoor cuts, and by identifying mismatches.
No Love From The Charity Stripe
The Dubs left more than a handful of points at the charity stripe against the Lakers. In fact, they failed to convert 8 of them, leaving them at 66% for the game. Missed free throws have been a recurring theme this season in the Bay. The Warriors are currently ranked 22nd in the league in field goal percentage this season. Out of the Warriors starting five, only Stephen Curry and Kevon Looney are shooting over 80% from the charity stripe. A key to the Warriors previous success was their ability to cash in at the line. If they want to enhance their chance to win, they have to find success in this area of the floor.
Defense Couldn’t Stop The Bleeding
Defense has been one of the Warriors main focus points this season. They know their success is predicated on their ability to generate stops and run the open floor, but they couldn’t stop the bleeding tonight. Golden State held their own throughout the first half, but once the Lakers turned the faucet on, it couldn’t be turned off. 5 Lakers players ended with double digit points and the team generated 36 assists. The defending champs were firing on all cylinders, and weren’t going to be stopped tonight.
The Warriors are 1-5 in their last 6 contests. They will look to turn things around against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday at 5pm.