Anthony Davis’ historic dominance and other takeaways from epic Lakers vs. Warriors Game 1

The Los Angeles Lakers escaped the Chase Center with a thrilling 117-112 Game 1 win over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night. Anthony Davis led the way with a historic stat line, LeBron James muscled his way to 22 points, and a handful of role players stepped up. Los Angeles staved off a 14-0 crunch-time run led by Stephen Curry and took back home-court advantage in the Western Conference Semifinals.

“I just think us being solid, remaining solid, staying organized offensively, and not getting disappointed or discouraged defensively,” Ham said about the Lakers’ withstanding the Warriors’ late surge. “We knew it was gonna be ebbs and flows, peaks and valleys within this 48-minute game. That’s just who they are; put a lot of pressure on you to guard continuously, second-by-second, minute-by-minute, quarter-by-quarter, half-by-half.”

“We didn’t make too many stops down the stretch but we got stops when we needed stops,” added Austin Reaves. “Hey, a win is a win.”

Game 1 lived up to the hype. Take a deep breath.

Let’s break down a few takeaways from the first game of what could be the most entertaining second-round series in the history of the NBA Playoffs (like, actually).

3. Jarred Vanderbilt and Dennis Schroder’s defense

One of the biggest questions heading into the series was how the Lakers would handle Steph. As expected, they began with the 6’8 Vando on Curry, then used Schroder (their peskiest on-ball perimeter defender) with some Reaves sprinkled in.

There’s no stopping Steph, but Vanderbilt and Schroder did about as well as Ham could’ve hoped. Curry led the Warriors with 27 points, but he was just 4-of-11 on 2-point shots. Vando relentlessly chased Steph around screens, got in his grill, and even blocked him on occasion. Both Vando and Schroder’s ball denial was elite. AD thwarted Curry’s floater game.

“I want those types of assignments,” said Vando. “I feel like that’s how I can impact this team.”

“JV did a great job,” said Schroder, who added 19 points. “We just tried to make it as hard as possible for him. He’s the greatest shooter of all time.”

Jarred Vanderbilt’s defense on Curry.

— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) May 3, 2023

Dennis added 19 points, as well.

“It’s huge,” Ham said about Schroder’s contributions. “I tell him all the time: ‘Be aggressive, be assertive, and make quick decisions, don’t think twice.’”

D’Angelo Russell — an X-factor in this series — showed out, too: 19 points and six assists, including a tough bank shot with 1:24 to go to snap the Warriors’ 14-0 crunch-time run.

this push dribble by DLo. woo.

— The Lakers Review (@TheLakersReview) May 3, 2023

The Lakers have been the best defensive team in basketball since the deadline. They held the Dubs to 40.6% shooting in Game 1.

2. Inside vs. Outside

The stark contrast in styles was compelling to observe. Both teams played how they wanted — to the extreme. The Lakers dominated inside, while the Warriors relentlessly hoisted from the perimeter. Physicality, length, and brute force vs. a guard-driven aerial attack.

The Lakers, a mediocre outside shooting club, went 6-for-25 from 3. The Warriors, the most productive outside shooting team in basketball, went 21-for-53 (!). Steph, Klay Thompson (25 points), and Jordan Poole (21 points) became the first trio of teammates to each drain six 3s in a playoff game.

Lol Dennis: “They still I think took 50 3s. Our game plan was to get them off the 3-point line … So, we gotta be better there.”

— Michael Corvo (@michaelcorvoNBA) May 3, 2023

The Lakers, who led the league in free throws per game, shot 25-for-29 from the line. The Warriors, one of the league’s least effective foul-drawing teams, were 5-for-6. Los Angeles was +26 in the paint, seizing on the Golden State’s lack of rim protection.

“Just playing with force, doing what we could in transition,” said Ham. “Just not getting discouraged. Not getting disappointed. But all the while remaining forceful on our offensive end. Playing downhill, loving and living in the paint, putting a lot of pressure on them to guard in the paint. The free throw line definitely helped us.”

Ham said that while watching the Splash Bros heat up from the outside was a “nightmare,” the Lakers’ ball movement and “second and third side drives” allowed them to dictate pace and live at the line.

1. Anthony Davis brought it

We’ve said it ad nauseam since 2020: When Anthony Davis plays like a Hall of Fame-caliber two-way force and LeBron can play second banana, the Lakers are near impossible to beat. It’s easy for me to say, but it’s simple in theory.

LeBron was OK: 9-for-24 in 40 minutes, timely cutting, a few chasedown blocks, focused defense, ice-cold 3-point shooting. Par for the course in the 2023 playoffs.

This Austin Reaves to LeBron James alley-oop is stuff that like QBs and WRs develop after playing together for like 8

— Michael Corvo (@michaelcorvoNBA) May 3, 2023

AD, whom Ham has nicknamed “Wilt Davis,” played the entire second half and finished with 30 points on 11-for-19 shooting, 23 rebounds (!), five assists, and four blocks in 44 minutes. Tim Duncan is the only other player in NBA history to drop 30/20/5/4 in a playoff game. Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Shaquille O’Neal are the only other Lakers to go for 30 and 20 in the postseason. (Kevon Looney pulled down 23 boards of his own.)

Anthony Davis and Kevon Looney are putting up rebounding numbers like it’s Russell vs. Wilt in ‘65

— Michael Corvo (@michaelcorvoNBA) May 3, 2023

“You’re talking about some of the best players basketball has ever saw,” said Ham. “And it’s history. That’s what we expect of him. We needed every bit of those points and rebounds and block shots.

“He’s elite defensively. His ability to change shots, block shots, and then still gather the rebounds. I told him before the game, ‘Dominate on both sides of the ball.’ He’s been doing that. And we expect nothing less from him.”

LeBron on the Warriors’ late-game run: “We just missed some shots. I can think about 4-5 shots…”

(Me: Will LeBron do his thing and recall exactly what those shots were?)

LeBron: Precedes to specifically rattle off every play in precise detail

— Michael Corvo (@michaelcorvoNBA) May 3, 2023

Considering the stakes, it was AD’s finest performance since the bubble — maybe ever.

“I thought AD had a great game,” said Steve Kerr. “Obviously he dominated; he blocked four shots, altered some others. That’s what this team has been doing now for the last few months. They have been one of the best defensive teams in the league for a reason and he’s a huge part of that.”


30 points
23 rebounds
5 assists
4 blocks

Lakers take the 1-0 series lead #NBAPlayoffs presented by Google Pixel

— NBA (@NBA) May 3, 2023

AD looked gassed down the stretch as the Warriors made their late-gasp run, but he summoned enough strength to make two key late defensive plays, including a dagger block on Curry.

“This is what load management is about,” Ham explained. “Postseason, everything is at its peak. You have to pare down your roster, and you gotta push your big dogs.

As for the most important thing for the Lakers going forward?

“Rest,” said LeBron. “That’s the key right now. Rest.”

Game 2 is on Thursday. The defending champs will have answers.

The post Anthony Davis’ historic dominance and other takeaways from epic Lakers vs. Warriors Game 1 appeared first on ClutchPoints.

Share the Post:
Enter Your Information Below To Receive Free Fitness Tips, Health News, And Articles.

By opting in you agree to our Privacy Policy. You also agree to receive emails from us and our affiliates. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

By opting in you agree to our Privacy Policy. You also agree to receive emails from us and our affiliates. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Generated by Feedzy