The Golden State Warriors finished the first half of Game 5 on Wednesday with classic Splash Brothers to build an 11-point advantage.
They were in command when they started the second with a 9-2 run. With their postseason on the line, the defending NBA champions bounced back from a severe Game 4 setback by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 121-106 to ensure their season did not end on Wednesday.
To make matters worse for the Lakers, Anthony Davis suffered a late-game head injury, putting his Game 6 status in doubt.
Warriors’ Strong Start Challenged by Lakers’ Determination Before Halftime
Golden State started Wednesday’s game like it did so many of its triumphs during its four-championship run, hitting on four 3-pointers in the first 4:30 minutes to take a 17-5 lead. A Lakers club that has continued to improve since a midseason roster overhaul reacted by tying the game at 50-50 midway through the second quarter. It did it by regularly turning to Davis, who flourished in the post against an outmatched Kevon Looney.
However, the Warriors went on a 20-9 run to end the half, fuelled by four more 3-pointers. They concluded with a 6-0 run in the final 30 seconds, highlighted by three-pointers from Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry as the buzzer rang.
The Warriors then began the second half by hitting the basket frequently, extending their 11-point halftime lead to 79-61 with a 9-2 run. The Lakers closed the third quarter with Curry on the bench, but Golden State held an 11-point advantage going into the fourth.
It was similar on Monday when the Warriors led by seven points after three quarters. This time, however, there was no late Lakers rally on Golden State’s home court. Los Angeles never came closer than 9 points again. The game ended when Davis got injured in the fourth quarter.
Anthony Davis departs the game late due to a head injury
Davis departed the field after taking an unintentional elbow in the head from Looney midway through the fourth quarter.
With the Warriors ahead 102-90 in 4th quarter of Game 5, he walked to the tunnel with help after sitting on the bench with his head in his hands in evident discomfort. He seemed tired as he exited the court.
AD has been escorted away by a wheelchair for further evaluation, per @ChrisBHaynes pic.twitter.com/vjCfhXBTlM
— Ball Don’t Lie (@Balldontlie) May 11, 2023
Davis was transported in a wheelchair to the locker room for additional assessment before the game ended. He was quickly ruled out. After the game, Darvin Ham, the team’s head coach, stated that Davis’ condition had improved.
Ham on Davis: “just checked on him in the back, he seems to be doing really good already.”
— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) May 11, 2023
The Lakers did not provide an early diagnosis, and Davis’ condition for Game 6 was unclear following the game.
Curry takes the lead and receives plenty of assistance
Once again, Curry was Golden State Warriors catalyst, scoring 27 points and dished out eight assists on 12-of-24 shooting on Game 5. In contrast to the defeat on Monday, when no one on his squad scored more than 17 points, he had significant assistance this time.
Andrew Wiggins scored 25 points, grabbed seven boards, and dished out five assists on 10-of-18 shooting. With 20 points, ten rebounds, four assists, and two steals, Draymond Green displayed offensive aggression rarely seen from him. His second 20-point performance of the playoffs came on 7-of-11 shooting from the field. Gary Payton II contributed 13 points and 4 of 5 shooting to the team’s success.
Thompson (10 points, 3 of 12 from the field) and Jordan Poole (11 points, 5 of 14) struggled with their shooting. If the Warriors want to force a Game 7 at Oracle Arena, they must perform well in Game 6 in Los Angeles.
LeBron James scored 25 points to lead the Lakers and grabbed 9 boards on 9-of-17 shooting. Davis, on track for 18 points before being hurt, finished with 23, 9 boards, and 3 assists. Green anchored the post for the small-ball Warriors, but he did most of his damage against Looney, who has been on the bench since Game 1.
On Friday night in Los Angeles, Game 6 will take place.
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