In a preseason battle, the Los Angeles Lakers went head-to-head with the Golden State Warriors to renew this California rivalry. You can argue that it’s not as competitive since the regular season hasn’t started yet and players are still resting and just chillin’ on the bench, making the bench work, but no matter how you put it, the game shows some signs of things to come for both teams.
With the game pretty much even until the final minutes of the third quarter, where the Lakers began taking over, the big W would eventually go to L.A., 123-113. With most of their starters hitting the court more, both teams actually had an equal chance. But here are the biggest takeaways from this preseason matchup.
Chill day for the Dub
It was just another game for the Warriors. They didn’t seem to be bothered by the new-look Lakers. With their main dudes Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant getting their usual scoring in, it looked effortless. There was no Draymond Green and no DeMarcus Cousins, and yet they managed to keep the score close par the eventual run near the end of regulation. Steph ended the night with 23 points (9 of 9 from the free throw line), and Klay had 20 points, making four three-point field goals. But maybe their priority to put on a show rather than play basketball got the better of them.
Brandon Ingram is a beast
Ingram led the scoring for the Lakers, finishing with 26 points. He and Kyle Kuzma was the duo to watch in this game. Kuz added 22 to Ingram’s buckets. And as far as development is concerned, both of them are well on their way to becoming All-Star caliber talent if they’re not already. For Ingram, it looks like he’s growing to be a smart offensive animal. Rather than settling for jumpers and transition layups, he’s been attacking the paint a lot more, thus giving him opportunities to score at the line. Two games in this preseason alone, Ingram attempted 15 free throws, and this game was no different, amounting to 17 trips.
There were 65 fouls called throughout the game, with the Warriors getting most of it. Somehow, it was always Brandon Ingram they kept on fouling, and we all know that’s not the wisest decision. It even got to the point where Kevin Durant, who finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds, fouled out of the game in the third quarter. After that, the Dubs trailed for the remainder of the game.
The Lakers have no chill
Right from the get-go, it was obvious the Lakers meant business when they got to the court, looking to run with the ball as much as they can. It wasn’t important if it was just a preseason game in Las Vegas, they showed up to really compete. From the starters to the backup, they all wanted to showcase how much the team has grown as a unit and the players individually.
Lonzo Ball returned for the Lakeshow in this game, marking his debut in this year’s preseason. Coming back from an injury, it seems like Ball wasn’t really gone. He dropped 7 points, gathered 4 rebounds, and snatched 4 steals in 23 minutes of play.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (still the best name in the NBA) is the biggest benefactor of LeBron switching over to the Lakers. He sure lacks playmaking skills, but LeBron and Rondo will make up for that by finding this good spot-up shooter when he’s open.
Everyone’s contribution and unwavering energy secured the win for the Lakeshow, and they sure can grab the attention of the Warriors and make them focus.
L.A. is LeBron’s team
The Lakers are far from being championship contenders, but they can certainly get there by the end of this year with LeBron’s leadership and guidance. In 18 minutes of play, The King dished 5 assists, leaped for 10 rebounds, and scored 15 points, including a 34-foot jumper to beat the buzzer at halftime, and an and-1 circus shot. Not only is he an unrivaled scorer, but he’s also a genius distributor—he stays patient, spots angles and passing lanes to help his teammates score. Of course, LeBron will continue to be the team general and leader, and that only spells good news for the young Los Angeles Lakers.
The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers face each other again Saturday night for their last preseason matchup.