Lonnie Walker IV isn’t exactly a household name, but that may now change, at least in Los Angeles, after he pulled off one of the biggest clutch performances by a role player that I’ve ever seen.
Walker scored all 15 of his points in the pivotal fourth quarter, which the LA Lakers initially trailed by seven points before finishing with the narrow 104-101 victory and, more importantly, the 3-1 series lead.
Walker’s performance was just enough to help the Lakers, who still got 23 points, 15 rebounds and three steals from Anthony Davis despite Davis only scoring four points in the second half.
LeBron James also had 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists while Austin Reaves chipped in 21 points. Dennis Schroder had 10 points off the bench to cap things off for the Lakers.
The Golden State Warriors had plenty of chances to tie the game and take the lead, but they wasted a 31 point, 10 rebound and 14 assist triple-double from Steph Curry with some questionable plays toward the end of the game.
After cutting the deficit to 102-101 with a layup, Curry missed an 18-footer with 26.1 seconds left to play and after the Warriors got the offensive rebound he took a stepback 30-footer while being guarded by Davis.
After Walker made two free throws in the ensuing possession, Curry managed to get possession after a jump ball and then threw it out of bounds with 1.1 left to play and them still holding only behind 3. Steve Kerr of course used his last timeout to challenge but it was never going to be successful.
After already being pushed to seven games by a highly inexperienced Sacramento Kings squad in the previous round, it doesn’t look like the defending champions are in a great position to try to make it past the Lakers.