The Lakers gave the best team in the league a difficult challenge on Monday night, ultimately falling to the Golden State Warriors by just three points.
After tying the game at 95 with 4:42 left in the game, the Lakers turned the ball over on their next four possessions, allowing the Warriors to push ahead by five.
Carlos Boozer ended the drought with a jump hook with just over two minutes left.
Wesley Johnson and Jordan Clarkson hit big shots to get the Lakers within three points with just under a minute remaining. Stephen Curry missed a jumper, giving the Lakers a chance to tie with 10.7 left on the clock, but Warriors Coach Steve Kerr chose to foul, rather than risk a Lakers’ three-pointer.
The final moments became a free-throw shooting contest with Jordan Clarkson, Wayne Ellington and Curry combining to hit eight-of-eight tries.
One last turnover from Johnson was enough for the Warriors to squeak out the win.
The Lakers turned the ball over nine times in the first quarter, five in the second but zero times in the third. They finished with 19 turnovers, including five late in the fourth.
Klay Thompson was the game’s leading scorer with 26 points. Curry added 19 but shot just five for 14 from the field. Draymond Green scored 16 points with eight rebounds and five steals. Harrison Barnes contributed 11 points.
The Lakers were led by Clarkson and Ellington with 17 points apiece. Johnson scored 16 points while Jeremy Lin and Jordan Hill added 15 points.
Hill hit a double-double with 12 rebounds. Carlos Boozer was one rebound short, while scoring 10 points.
Lin hit eight-of-10 free throws, but also turned the ball over five times. Curry led the Warriors with nine assists, but also had six turnovers.
The Lakers shot 45.9% from the field and 53.3% from behind the arc (8-15). Golden State was at 47.6% and 25.9% (7-27), respectively.
With the loss, the Lakers fall to 17-49. They’ll return home to host the Utah Jazz (30-36) on Thursday night at Staples Center. The Warriors (53-13) play again on Wednesday, hosting the Atlanta Hawks (53-14).
Warriors 82, Lakers 78 (end of third quarter)
The Lakers continued to compete against the Warriors, matching the NBA’s top team with 24 points in the third quarter.
After nine turnovers in the first quarter, the Lakers finished the third quarter with 14 total. Wayne Ellington led the team with 15 points.
Klay Thompson was the game’s high scorer with 21 points, but Stephen Curry managed just 13 points on five-of-12 shooting.
Wesley Johnson added 14 for the Lakers. Jordan Hill notched a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Jordan Clarkson also scored 13 points.
The Lakers shot 46.3% from the field. The Warriors converted 48.4%.
Warriors 58, Lakers 54 (halftime)
The Lakers overcame a nine-point deficit over a two-minute, 9-0 run to tie the score at 52 with 2:17 left in the half.
The Warriors scored the next six, followed by a Tarik Black jump hook to end the second with the Lakers down four.
Wayne Ellington led all scorers with 15 points in 14 minutes, hitting six-of-eight shot attempts. As a team, the Lakers shot 48.8% from the field, 66.7% from behind the arc and 88.9% on free throws (8-9).
The Warriors shot 47.8% from the field, 21.4% (3-14) on three-point attempts and 91.7% (11-12) at the free throw line, respectively.
Klay Thompson scored 14 points but Stephen Curry converted only one-of-four attempts for two points in 15 1/2 minutes.
Draymond Green added 12 points and four steals. The Lakers turned the ball over 14 times; the Warriors had eight miscues.
Lakers 30 - Warriors 30 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers shot extremely well from the field (65.0%) in the first quarter against the Warriors, but nine turnovers in 12 minutes helped Golden State keep pace.
Wayne Ellington hit four of his five shot attempts to lead the Lakers with 10 points.
Klay Thompson was the game’s leading scorer with 12 points, while Draymond Green scored 10 points. The Warriors shot 45.8% from the field and 22.2% from three-point range (2-9).
The Lakers converted 80% from behind the arc (4-5), but didn’t attempt a free throw. The Warriors converted all six of their attempts.
Jordan Clarkson scored five points but had three turnovers. Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer both had two miscues as well.
Stephen Curry went scoreless, with four assists and two turnovers.
The Lakers (17-48) play the best team in the league on Friday night, visiting the Golden State Warriors (52-13).
After previously upsetting the Warriors this season, the Lakers will be facing a difficult task, after falling the night before at home to the best team in the Eastern Conference in the Atlanta Hawks (52-14).
They’ll play again without Nick Young (knee), while Ronnie Price (elbow), Kobe Bryant (shoulder), Julius Randle (knee) and Steve Nash (back) are all done for the season.
For an in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers at Golden State Warriors.