The Los Angeles Lakers (31-34) defeated the Golden State Warriors (34-31) on Sunday, 113 -105. The Lakers managed to win without their leader LeBron James and point guard D’Angelo Russell. James remains out with a foot tendon injury suffered against the Dallas Mavericks on February 26. Russell remains out, his fifth straight absence due to a sprained right ankle.
This game saw the return of Warriors guard Stephen Curry, back from a lower leg injury. The win puts the Lakers in 11th place in the Western Conference, half a game out of 10th place with a play-in berth within striking distance. The Lakers are a half-game back of both the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans.
Lakers center Anthony Davis was impressive in the win without James. Davis finished the night with 39 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two blocked shots. Davis scored 15 points in the first quarter alone. Chants of AD, AD…were definitely heard in the Crypto.com Arena.
Jarred Vanderbilt contributed to the much-needed win with 10 points on 5-of-11 shooting, a game-high 13 rebounds, with four assists. Troy Brown Jr., remained on fire scoring 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting, eight rebounds, and 4-of-7 shots from 3-point range. Malik Beasley rounded out the game with 12 points and three rebounds. Mo Bamba sprained his left ankle early in the first quarter and remained out for the rest of the game.
“He’s in a very great place right now,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “He has an unwillingness to settle and is staying in attack mode. He’s playing pain free and with great rhythm. We also have different pieces around him he can play off at a high level.”
With 5:37 remaining the game, the Lakers hit seven straight points before Klay Thompson and Curry made it a two-point game. Davis hit a pair of free throws to put the Lakers up by four. Troy Brown recovered a missed jumper by Curry and Davis hit a floater over Draymond Green to make it 107-101 with 48.9 seconds left.
Curry finished the game with 27 points, 5-of-13 from three-point land and shooting guard Klay Thompson adding 22 points. Draymond Green had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Warriors who are in fifth place in the Western Conference.
“It felt great to get thrown back in there right away,” Curry said. “If I get better as the game goes on, that’s always a great sign for me individually. Even though we lost, some bright spots for sure.”
The Lakers will host the Memphis Grizzlies today without their star player Ja Morant, 23, who is out for at least two games after brandishing a gun in a social media post the team announced on Saturday. Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins said that there is “not a definitive timeline” for Morant’s return. “The focus right now is that Ja’s taken on the responsibility to really get the help he needs to get into a better place.” The Grizzlies are in second place in the Western Conference.