What happened to the Lakers on Wednesday was fairly predictable and an interesting turn of fate. The first time these teams met, the Warriors were on the second end of home-road, back-to-back games after an emotional win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The second time they met, the Lakers were on the second end of home-road, back-to-back games after an emotional win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
There is an obvious gap in skill level between these teams. But beyond that, the Lakers were missing starters D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle, and the Warriors were (slightly) better rested, at full strength and primed to play like the Warriors.
And so, here are five takeaways that resulted from all of that.
1) What the Warriors did is exactly what the Lakers are striving to reach. Most notably, the Warriors had 47 assists — a franchise record and a testament to how well they shared the ball. “Forty-seven assists and 50-something field goals is one of the greatest stats I’ve ever heard or seen,” Lakers Coach Luke Walton said. “Unfortunately it happened against us, but to me that’s basketball at its best. It’s unselfish play, it’s multiple people getting opportunities. It’s reading a defense and taking what’s there. We’re not there, but we have our moments.”
2) Nick Young lamented the injury bug hitting the Lakers, with Russell and Randle out. He also counted himself among them. Young jammed the second toe on his left foot on Tuesday, and even though he can play on it, it’s painful. He kept insisting his toe was broken, but the Lakers assured us that was not the case; it was just Young being himself.
3) Not only did the Warriors share the ball well, they protected it well, too. They committed 10 turnovers, making this the biggest gap between assists and turnovers in more than 29 years, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
4) Brandon Ingram made his first start and had 16 points, three rebounds, an assist and three turnovers. He faced Draymond Green one-on-one and had to guard Kevin Durant. Not easy tasks, but Ingram was undaunted. “I’m in the NBA now,” he said. “I’ll guard a lot of different guys in the league. It’s not a surprise anymore. It’s just going out there and trying to compete.”
5) Luke Walton’s succinct assessment of how they’ll evaluate this game: “This is one you throw in the trash can.” Pretty much.