NBA Playoffs: Lakers survive Golden State’s rally to steal Game 1

Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers take Game 1 over the Golden State Warriors (Getty Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Los Angeles Lakers escaped the resilient Golden State Warriors, 117-112, in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal matchup last May 3, 2023.

Newly-acquired combo guard D’Angelo Russell was huge for Los Angeles after halting Golden State’s 14-0 run with a clutch leaning bank shot from the left block that gave the Lakers a 114-112 lead with only 1:24 remaining in the nip-and-tuck affair.

The Lakers were looking to blow the game wide-open after their cushion swelled to 14 points, 112-98, in the last five minutes of the Western Clasico clash.

However, Golden State once again displayed their signature high-octane offense and scored 14-straight markers kicked off by a Stephen Curry foul-counted shot.

After Curry’s bucket, the whole Chase Center erupted in awe after Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson hit a couple of three-pointers capped off by a Curry trifecta to equalize the game at 112-all.

That’s when Russell converted the silencer dagger and also haunted Golden State as they failed to make a bucket in the last minute of the game.

Three free throws made by LeBron James and Dennis Schroder then iced the game for the Lakers to help them salvage Game 1 on the road.

Star power forward Anthony Davis set the tone for the Lakers after dominating the first half with his offensive rebounding and post-scoring.

The crafty two-way big man then finished the game with a game-high 30-point performance and snatched 23 big rebounds.

James also came up big and was an all-around force for Los Angeles, dropping 24 markers and 11 assists while Russell chipped in 19 points.

Meanwhile, Curry had 27 points for the Warriors while his backcourt mate Thompson had 26 but started slow in the ball game which allowed the Lakers to protect their double-digit lead until the final stretch of the fourth quarter.

Golden State will be looking to equalize the series and avoid a 0-2 hole when they meet again with the Lakers in Game 2 on May 5, 2023.