The Los Angeles Lakers put boots to the asses of the Golden State Warriors with a 127-97 beatdown in Game 3 of their Western Conference Semifinals series.
As was true in Game 2, the second quarter was a game-defining period of the contest. Golden State had taken a 40-29 lead on Moses Moody’s three-pointer with 7:53 left in the half, and he Warriors seemed poised to turn this game into a blowout. The Lakers got it in gear, for over a 7:22 span LA went on a 30-8 run, turning that 11-point deficit into a 11-point lead they took into halftime at 58-49.
The Warriors would cut it to ten points at 76-66 on a Stephen Curry basket and a shifting of the momentum was palatable. However once again the Lakers responded, this time with a 10-2 spurt that not only pushed their advantage to eighteen points at 86-68 heading into the fourth quarter but also effectively ended the competitive portion of the evening’s festivities, making the second consecutive forth quarter in their series a mere formality.
Anthony Davis , who looked like he had Percocet flowing through his veins in Game 2, was an impactful force on both sides of the ball, leading the way with 25 points on 7/10 shooting, grabbing 13 rebounds and swatting 4 shots and changing a host of others.
LeBron James, who inextricably did not take a single shot in the first quarter, finished up with 21 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists. James made a key hustle play, breaking up a pass that would have led to an Andrew Wiggins layup in the third quarter that would have trimmed the lead to single digits, but instead helped to spur on the run that proved to put the game out of reach. D’Angelo Russell turned in another good performance, scoring 21 points on an efficient 8/13 from the field, including 5/8 from downtown. The Lakers as a team, shot 52.5% from the floor and 48.4% ( 15-31) from three-point land.
The Warriors shot just 39.6% ( 36-91) and after shooting 50% from downtown in Game 2, Golden State plummeted black to Earth, connecting on just 29.5% ( 13-44 ) from distance. Stephen Curry shot just 9/21 in scoring 23 points; Klay Thompson was 5/14 on the evening in scoring his 15 points. Andrew Wiggins scored 16 points and was the only Warriors starter to shoot 50% or better from the floor, at 6/11.
Monday’s Game 4 is another pivotal contest that will determine if the series will stay competitive or it will start the clock on when the Lakers will move on the Conference Finals.