In what played out as a tedious, one-sided game, the Los Angeles Lakers managed to secure a crucial victory over the Golden State Warriors, keeping their hopes alive for the upcoming play-in tournament. Despite a weaker-than-usual performance from superstar LeBron James, the Lakers dominated the undermanned Warriors from start to finish, pulling away for good in the third quarter.
The absence of Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins proved to be a significant setback for the Warriors, who struggled to find answers offensively. This allowed the Lakers to take control of the game, even though James had his weakest game of the season, contributing just 13 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists in the win.
James’ shooting performance was far from his best, shooting under 30 percent (5 for 20) for the first time in his Lakers career.
According to Ohio mobile sportsbooks, Los Angeles entered the night as the favorite and a fast start had the Lakers up 31-23 after the first quarter. Golden State managed to get that lead down to three points by halftime. However, in the third quarter, Los Angeles wasted no time, with Beasley and Reeves leading the charge and outscoring the Golden State Warriors 13-2. From there, the Lakers never looked back, securing a dominant victory.
Beasley was particularly impressive, making seven 3-pointers on a night where the Lakers shot a season-best 53.3% from beyond the arc, with 16 successful shots out of 30 attempts. The team also collected a season-high 58 rebounds, contributing to their overall success. Reeves also made a significant contribution off the bench, scoring 17 points, with 13 coming in the pivotal third quarter.
The Lakers’ bench players were in top form, scoring a season-best 68 points, with five players reaching double figures. Beasley, who was acquired in a trade with Utah at the deadline, has already made a significant impact, having scored two 20-point games in his four starts for the Lakers.
However, the win wasn’t without its setbacks. D’Angelo Russell suffered an unfortunate ankle strain in the first quarter after colliding with Warriors guard Donte DiVincenzo on an in-bounds play.
The win brings the Lakers just 1.5 games off 10th place, giving them a fighting chance to qualify for the play-in tournament. Despite their 13th-place standing, Coach Darvin Ham’s team remains in contention, with the Warriors currently in tenth place. While the Lakers may be concerned about James’ weaker-than-usual performance, the team’s overall performance in the game suggests that they have what it takes to go all the way.