Game 3 was supposed to be a pivotal game between two of the most successful players of a generation, but it became a basic Los Angeles Lakers blowout.
With the series tied 1-1, the Lakers notched a 127-97 win Saturday to take the series lead at home. Game 4 is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET Monday (TNT) in Los Angeles.
It wasn’t the prettiest game, even with all the celebrities on hand at Crypto.com Arena. LeBron James, whose son, Bronny, announced his commitment to USC earlier in the day, went the entire first quarter without attempting a field goal, the first such start in his NBA-record 275 playoff games.
The Warriors had their moments, but finished the game shooting 35-of-90 (38.9%) and 13-of-44 from deep with 19 turnovers and 22 personal fouls. Four technical fouls were called over the course of the game. The game ended with a 37-15 free-throw attempt discrepancy in favor of the Lakers.
The game hinged on a second quarter in which the Warriors took an 11-point lead, then lost it and more on a 30-8 Lakers run to end the first half, capped off by an Anthony Davis buzzer-beating layup.
The Lakers opened the second half with an 11-point lead, but the Warriors never closed it to fewer than 9 points. Golden State struggled to find any consistent offense and defensive stalwart Draymond Green dealt with foul trouble, while Los Angeles just kept teeing off.
The Lakers’ postseason so far has been defined by whether or not they have the good Davis on the court, and it was the former Saturday. The big man had a monster game on both ends of the floor, with 25 points on 7-of-10 shooting with 13 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 assists and 3 steals. James, despite a scoreless fourth quarter, finished with 21 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists.