It’s been back-and-forth as the Los Angeles Lakers answered with their own blowout win in Game 3. Will the Golden State Warriors tie the series again?
Catch the game tomorrow, May 9, at 10:00 AM, Manila time.
HOME: Los Angeles Lakers (2-1)
Projected starting five:
- D’Angelo Russell
- Austin Reaves
- Jarred Vanderbilt
- LeBron James
- Anthony Davis
After a disappointing Game 2 that saw them get pounded over the last three quarters, the Lakers captured Game 3 by returning the favour in a 127-97 rout. It was a solid effort on both ends as they collectively shot 52.5% from the field, made 15 threes, and held the Warriors to just 39.6% shooting. All were their best stats in the series thus far.
The top three scorers led the way, with Anthony Davis going for 25 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks, D’Angelo Russell scoring all of his 21 points and five threes in the first half, and LeBron James adding 21/8/8 with zero turnovers. Such a win induces confidence, but we’ll see if they can keep it up, particularly Davis, whose presence has been up-and-down. Note that he was basically non-existent during the 27-point loss in Game 2 following a dominating series opener. Consider the same with Russell since he’s a streaky shooter and was a combined 1-for-8 from downtown before swishing five in the first half of Game 3. James, meanwhile, isn’t filling the stat sheet the way he normally does (22.0/8.7/5.0). He may be testing spurts as he had 14 points in the first quarter of Game 2 and suddenly didn’t score or even take any attempts in the first period of Game 3.
The Laker supporting cast is not providing good damage in the series, not even Austin Reaves as he’s only contributing 9.0/3.7/2.3 on a dreadful 32.1% shooting in three games.
AWAY: Golden State Warriors (1-2)
Projected starting five:
- Stephen Curry
- Klay Thompson
- Andrew Wiggins
- Draymond Green
- Kevon Looney
In Game 2, the Warriors led, 40-29, midway into the second quarter, but surrendered a 30-8 run to finish the period and suddenly trail, 59-48. They were then unable to unlock the patented third quarter or late-game run.
Looking at the shooting per quarter, the Dubs went 11-for-24 in the first, 7-for-23 in the second, 8-for-23 in the third, and 10-for-24 in the fourth. The significant dip in the two quarters in-between is key, but they’ll probably won’t shoot that bad again, so look for the defending champs to have better percentages.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are averaging identical scoring numbers in the series with 23.3 points per game. They are also combining for 10 treys on 46.8% shooting. They are the best shooting backcourt in the game and they will continue gunning relentlessly.
The Warriors’ next two scorers, on the other hand, ought to be better. Andrew Wiggins has an uninspiring 14.0 PPG and 6.3 RPG on a 45.5% clip, while Jordan Poole is at 10.7 PPG on 40% shooting. Draymond Green has 6.3/5.7/6.7 but is only 39.1% from the floor and 25% at the charity stripe. Lastly, big man Kevon Looney has only played 26 minutes in the last two games after seeing 29 minutes in Game 1, where he also grabbed 23 rebounds, seven of which were on the offensive side.
Handicap: The Warriors (+3) win.
Over/Under: The total hits the over (227).