Lonnie Walker IV steps up, helps Lakers clinch 3-1 series lead against Warriors

Lonnie Walker IV answered the call for the Lakers (Getty Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Just like what they say, always stay locked in and be ready if your number will get called in the NBA.

With a constant change in the backcourt rotation of head coach Darvin Ham heading into the Western Conference semifinals, the Los Angeles Lakers just found a huge key factor in the series after explosive scorer Lonnie Walker IV stole the show in the crucial 104-101 Game 4 win over the Golden State Warriors last May 9, 2023, in the ongoing NBA Playoffs.

Walker played his best game of the series so far and erupted with 15 points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals as the Lakers moved on the cusp of another Western Conference finals trip after taking a commanding 3-1 series lead.

Entering the fourth and final quarter trailing by seven points, 84-77, Walker became Los Angeles’ unsung hero after unloading all of his points in the clutch stretch that helped the Lakers retake the lead, 86-84, with 9:27 remaining in the game.

Walker showed his vast artillery of offensive moves after dropping a huge three-pointer in the first possession of the fourth, soaring for a layup after a steal, and lulling Stephen Curry to sleep in different isolation perimeter jump shot situations.

The athletic shooting guard hit one of the biggest buckets in the game after taking on Curry again in isolation from the right elbow.

With 1:55 remaining and Golden State trying to protect its one-point lead, 98-99, Walker again delivered for the Lakers after cashing in a tough pull-up to put Los Angeles back in the driver’s seat, 100-99.

Despite Curry’s answer on the other end, the Lakers gathered themselves defensively and forced a Draymond Green turnover that resulted in a jump ball with 5.1 seconds left in Game 4.

Andrew Wiggins was able to tie up with Anthony Davis who got the possession after Golden State’s bad pass that gave a narrow window for the Warriors to equalize the ball game when a jump ball was called.

Although Curry rose to grab the ball, the superstar guard committed a costly turnover after throwing the leather away as no member of the Warriors were present on the right side of the floor.

LeBron James once again top-scored for the Lakers after tallying 27 points, nine rebounds, and six assists while Davis finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds.

Meanwhile, the Warriors had a monster triple-double from Curry, 31 points, 14 assists, and 10 rebounds, but needed more help on the offensive end as his splash brother Klay Thompson only chipped in nine markers built from a dismal 3/11 shooting from the field.

The Warriors will head back home for Game 5 of their Western Conference semis matchup and will look to win three-straight games in order to eliminate the Lakers from the playoffs.