The Western Conference semifinal series between the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors is a stylistic clash. Whichever team can execute their plan better will be the one that comes out on top most nights. In Game 1, that was the Lakers, who won 117-112 despite making 15 fewer 3-pointers as they took care of the ball offensively and dominated the paint and at the foul line.
Heading into Game 2, the Warriors knew that they had to make some adjustments to their game plan. They played right into the Lakers’ hands to go down 1-0 in the series but made sure that they would be going on the road with the series tied 1-1.
Golden State won Game 2 in convincing fashion, 127-100. Head coach Steve Kerr opted to make a lineup change, but not the one he would normally go to. Kevon Looney was removed from the starting lineup, as he and Draymond Green found little success being paired together.
But, it wasn’t Jordan Poole or Donte DiVincenzo inserted into the lineup. Instead, it was JaMychal Green, who provided the team the necessary floor spacing offensively but also some size to combat the Lakers on the interior. For one night, it worked wonders.
“It’s using our strengths to our advantage,” Warriors guard Stephen Curry said. “You have to give up something. So as long as we’re decisive and our floor is spaced properly, usually can find a good shot, and then you’ve just got to knock them down.”
J. Green was excellent, scoring 15 points in 13 minutes as he knocked down 3-of-6 3-point attempts. He was a bit part in helping limit the impact of Anthony Davis, who went off in Game 1 but was held in check in Game 2. After becoming only the fifth player in Lakers history to record a 30-20 game, Davis scored only 11 points with seven rebounds last night.
“With Loon not being in the lineup, we knew we needed some dog out there, and he stepped up for us in a big way,” Draymond Green said.
“We met force with force,” Draymond Green said. “We fouled so much the last game, and we were on the free throw line and it seemed like every play. That’s tough. That’s a great defensive team. You’re playing against that defense every time down the floor just set waiting on you to come down, it’s a lot tougher to score. I think our defense led to some better offense for us.”
Golden State did a much better job last night of playing defense without fouling. The free throw attempts were nearly identical as the Lakers went 10-of-17 and the Warriors went 10-16. With a major discrepancy behind the 3-point line again, it led to a blowout victory.
Heading back to Crypto.com Arena, it is now the Lakers’ turn to try and adjust their game plan. Nowhere near as good of a shooting team as the Warriors, head coach Darvin Ham is going to have to figure out a way to even the playing field as they did in Game 1. However, Golden State is ready for whatever is thrown at them.
“We found some success there and then [the Kings] tried to respond to that and we figured that out,” Curry said. “So I assume that will happen with L.A., same kind of vibe, but we’ll have an answer for all of it.”
Game 3 of this series will be taking place on Saturday night at 8:30 PM ET. It is a pivotal game as the winner of Game 3s in a series tied 1-1 historically goes on to win the series.
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