Five takeaways from the Lakers’ 113-106 loss to the Golden State Warriors
The first three games of the Lakers’ series against the Warriors have been fun, and now only one chance remains for them to steal a win.
Despite losing three times against Golden State this season, the Lakers have pushed the NBA champions to the brink in every game.
Friday’s contest didn’t go to overtime like the first two, but the Lakers got within two points of the Warriors in the fourth quarter.
Here are five takeaways from the Lakers’ 113-106 loss to the Warriors.
1. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope didn’t have a great shooting night. He joined the team in San Francisco on Friday morning after being released from a detention facility in Seal Beach, where he must report after every Lakers game and practice while serving a 25-day sentence. Caldwell-Pope shot four of 16 from the floor and made only one of 10 three-point attempts. “Obviously it affected him tonight,” coach Luke Walton said of Caldwell-Pope’s schedule. “It was great having him back. Most nights, he is going to make those shots or at least a good amount of them.”
2. Caldwell-Pope addressed the situation for the first time since The Times reported his legal problems. The Lakers had announced before Caldwell-Pope spoke that he would not answer “legal questions” and cut the interview off after he was asked what it was like to be away from his teammates. “It sucked,” the Lakers guard said. “But, I mean, I’m back with them now. Feels good.”
3. Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball are building something special. They combined for 51 points, and Walton said they were the most poised players on the court as the Lakers worked to dig themselves out of a 23-point hole in the second half. “We’ve been aware of the fact that they’re special players since we’ve had them,” Walton said. “How quickly they’re picking all this up is really impressive. But they didn’t get rattled at all tonight.”
4. Kuzma has a lot of experience playing against the Warriors, and he was succinct when sharing the difficulties in facing them. “The biggest challenge? Kevin Durant probably,” he said. “Outside of him, just their offense.”
5. Ball made five three-pointers Friday night, missing only one of six attempts — a career high. In his one season at UCLA, Ball made 41% of his three-point shots. It was only a matter of time till he got back on track in the NBA. “Just confidence,” Ball said. “[If] I’ve been missing for a long time, I’m bound to start hitting. I’m going to keep shooting. They’re all good shots to me, so it’s feeling good.”
Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli
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