The Lakers are now on a four-game winning streak. The Warriors, who came into this game looking for revenge, had their hearts broken in front of their home crowd. On this night, the Lakers were able to burst into Oracle and come away with a three point overtime victory.
The Warriors blew a 14 point fourth quarter lead, and the Lakers, who came out hot in the fourth, capitalized on every single possession. Behind some late game heroics from Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles moved to 13-14 on the season, while the Warriors fell to 18-10 on a final tally of 118-115.
Why the Warriors Should Be Angry with Themselves:
Let’s not forget that the Warriors did have a 14 point lead in this game. Their shooting was hot early on and they looked like they were about to take down Kobe’s Lakers. Then, while Kobe sat on the bench, the Lakers were able to cut the Warriors’ lead to two. Kobe would come back to haunt the, however.
It took Kobe 41 shots to score 34 points. Yes, he shot that badly, but was indeed clutch. Dwight Howard only scored 11 points. It was Metta World Peace, and Nash, however, who frustrated the Warriors, making their clutch shots when it mattered. At the end of regulation, World Peace drained a three pointer to put the Lakers up by two. Luckily, Jarrett Jack tied the game up with a short jumper.
Then, the Warriors went stone cold and soon found themselves overtaken by one of the most experienced teams in the league. Not one of the best – one of the veteran. Stephen Curry, who wasn’t very efficient, shot 7-for-23 and missed a clutch three-pointer at the end of overtime that would have tied the game.
Why The Lakers Won:
Down the stretch, it came down to sheer experience. With players like Nash controlling the tempo at the helm for the Lakers, the Warriors didn’t have that player. Instead, they relied on a whole bunch of players.
When they got down by 4 points in OT, they were rattled. It’s never good to be down by 4 in OT, as that’s usually hard to overcome, anyway, regardless of the team.
It ultimately came down to decision making, and the Warriors didn’t do so well in that category, but the Lakers did. Bryant, despite taking 41 shots, took the right ones toward the end of the game. The only thing that kept the Warriors in the game was Jarrett Jack’s 29 points and 11 assists, but it just wasn’t enough for them overall. Another example of their sub-par decision making occurred after Curry missed the three-pointer at the end, while Festus Ezeli collected the offensive rebound and threw it right into Pau Gasol’s hands to end the game.
Hopefully this loss doesn’t humble the Warriors too much, as they need some confidence in the future. On the 26th, they face the Jazz, and on January 2nd, they face the white-hot Clippers.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, they weren’t able to beat the Lakers, but they still stand at 18-10, a considerable distance ahead of the 6th seed in the Western Conference. They’re still in a good position, as Mark Jackson simply told reporters that the loss won’t ruin their Christmas.