Warriors start road trip with crushing defeat to Lakers; season series now tied
Draymond Green exited with an ankle injury but should be fine according to Coach Kerr.
After this quirky Golden State Warriors team upset the Los Angeles Lakers in a magical comeback earlier this season, I knew the reigning champs from SoCal would have vengeance on their minds. What I did not know was that the Bay’s team was going to be obliterated on national television, as L.A. destroyed them 117-91.
Of course that had Laker Nation chortling from the top of the mountain.
L.A. scored 41 points in the first quarter, which is the most the Warriors have given up in a first quarter this season. The Purple and Gold would go on to drop a season high 73 points in the first half, punctuated by this buzzer beating bomb from LeBron James.
Down 29 at the half to the elite defense of the champions in L.A.? Yeah this game was over early. Adding injury to insult, the league’s assist leader Draymond Green exited early with a sprained ankle.
The semi-annual La La Land beatdown
For those who missed the game, here’s the highlight of how the L.A. smashed the Dubs.
But before you throw your televisions out of the window and burn your “Forever Oakland” apparel, let’s remember that this bad loss could just be another episode in a bizarre, yearly Warriors tradition of getting humiliated by the Lakers.
Remember the 2019 Christmas Day debacle when the Lakers smacked the Dubs around despite James leaving with a severe groin injury?
Or how about the time Luke Walton’s upstarts blew out the Hamptons 5, ended Stephen Curry’s massive streak of consecutive games with a made trey, and gave us this priceless gif of Unanimous agitatedly shaking his head?
And of course there was that inexplicable whupping the 73-win team suffered in Kobe Bryant’s final game against GSW. The Mercury News reported “the result was a Staples Center shocker as the game matched teams with the largest difference in winning percentage in NBA history at this point in the season.”
All that to say: the Dubs are no strangers to randomly taking an annoying loss to their Pacific Division rival. Hopefully they got that out of their system for 2021 (also don’t forget these Lakers are hella good even without their injured All-Star Anthony Davis.)
But how did Golden State get blasted?
The Dubs were riding a season high three-game win streak entering this contest and were looking to size themselves up against a Lakers squad missing Davis. So why GSW end up getting buried alive?
The Warriors defense was a non-factor
Golden State’s defense was top-4 entering this game, and yet was annihilated from the opening tip by the champs.
So not only were the Lakers drilling triples early, but they also got to the free throw line at will. L.A. would eventually cash in on 26-of-38 shots from the charity stripe, forcing the ref to make a call when the Warriors were sloppy on their rotations or soft in the paint.
LeBron James breezed to 19 points in 24 minutes of work in one of the most lopsided victories he’s had against his old rival Curry.
The Warriors couldn’t find their scoring mojo (where was Wiggins?)
With their defense in tatters they were going to need a nuclear night from Curry. Unfortunately he couldn’t provide the firepower, scuffling to 16 points on 5-of-13 shooting (2-of-7) from beyond the arc. The team shot 40% from the field with an abysmal 8-of-34 (23.5%!) night from three-point range.
The Lakers defense corralled the Warriors drives with length and quickness, forcing the Dubs to settle for aimless jumpers with the paint walled off. Check Golden State’s first half shot chart and notice the struggle to convert in the paint and from the corners a.k.a. the spots that data driven computer analytics love the most.
Of particular note was the uneventful night Andrew Wiggins turned in. Perhaps it’s unfair to single out any ONE player on a night the team collectively looked like garbage, but as you all know I’ve been a staunch defender of Wiggins as a Dub. I’ve bought so much property on Wiggins Island they’re gonna have to make me the mayor.
This was a game I knew the squad would need him to step up to have a chance, but he seemed to fade out of the arena after catching some early fouls. He would finish with a nearly invisible 3 points (1-of-5 shooting), 2 rebounds, and 3 fouls.
So, rather than be a blind Wiggins-stan and brush this under the rug, I’ll self-flagellate for his crimes and provide the most trolling (and kid-friendly) diss I saw about him during the game last night:
And I’ll even throw in a possibly alarming statistic to Duby Dub Dubs who I’ve vociferously berated for not jumping on the Wiggins bandwagon quickly enough.
Drew Shiller @DrewShillerAndrew Wiggins 3-point shooting this season after going 0-for-3 tonight: -First 20 games = 41-for-101 (40.6 percent) -Last 15 games = 21-for-77 (27.3 percent)
I still believe in you Wiggs! It’s only one game! *sobs*
Wellp, the Warriors will have the chance to strike back against the champs March 15th in the third game of this season series. In the meantime, they’ll have a couple days to think about this beatdown before they face the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday in Oregon.
Let’s see if these Dubs can start a brand new win streak. In the meantime, let’s vibe with Chillhop Klay Thompson and his dog Rocco.