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Anthony Davis not a factor in Lakers’ blowout loss to Warriors

As Moses Moody swung on the rim and after LeBron James stood flat-footed, the five Lakers heads on the court all dropped, eyes pointed to the floor. There were still 2.2 seconds left in the third quarter, but James caught the inbounds pass and dribbled out the clock.

There was no decision for Darvin Ham to make, no comeback to try and put together.

Down 30, the Lakers leader made it obvious.

They were done. And even with 12 more minutes to play, this game was over.

Officially, the Lakers lost 127-100, but it was finished way before that.

“They made the adjustments. We knew they were going to do that,” James said. “That’s what a championship team does, and they held serve on the home court.”

Anthony Davis, the two-way dominant force, didn’t have the juice at either end of the floor, as the Warriors stacked 40-plus points in back-to-back quarters to turn Game 2 into a blowout. Draymond Green guarded him and the Warriors’ smaller lineups made it almost impossible for the Lakers to get Davis the ball as he rolled to the basket.

Klay Thompson made eight three-point shots, all five starters scored at least 10 as Golden State cruised to the 27-point win with Stephen Curry handing out 12 assists.

Game 3 is Saturday in Los Angeles.

“You got to keep scoring, get to the free-throw line as well, or just get points in the paint,” James said. “They’re going to go on runs. That’s what they do. But you got to keep scoring, try to hold the fort down. You give credit where credit is due. They played exceptionally well tonight and we didn’t. The series is tied 1-1. That’s where we’re at.”

They didn’t, even if the start made it seem like they might.

The Lakers actually led by seven after the first quarter thanks to James and Rui Hachimura, the pair combining to score 22 points in the first quarter. But the pair were the only consistent offense the Lakers could put together all game, James finishing with 23 and Hachimura adding 21. Davis scored only 11 points with Green guarding him.

Game 2 should be a reminder of what the Lakers are actually up against in this round of the playoffs.

New Orleans. Memphis. Houston. Portland. Oklahoma City. Utah. San Antonio. The Clippers. Denver. Dallas. Sacramento.

They’ve all tried to do it, to beat Steve Kerr’s Golden State Warriors in the playoffs, and they’ve all failed. The Lakers, should they beat the Warriors, would be the first Western Conference team to beat Kerr in the playoffs, a reminder that when his teams have made the playoffs, they’ve always gone to the Finals.

Before Game 2, Kerr projected calm though the logical move was obvious — to play smaller.

“We’ve got a few things that we’ll try and we feel good about our ability to adjust, but also about our ability to respond to losing a game and being down in the series,” Kerr said pregame. “We just went through that being down 2-0 to Sacramento. We lost Game 1 of the Boston series last year in the Finals at home. So this is nothing new for our team.”

In Game 2, the Warriors got leaner and faster, clogging the paint making it almost impossible to get Davis the ball in his best spots while stretching the Lakers defense to the corners of the court.

Kevon Looney, who had 23 rebounds in Game 1, moved to the bench in Game 2, with the team saying he was sick and would have his minutes limited. That allowed veteran JaMychal Green to move into the starting lineup, where he hit three of six from three as he scored 15 points.

Draymond Green accelerated the Warriors offense, racing the ball into the frontcourt, and even with the Lakers mostly accounting for Curry, his passing and dribbling cut the Lakers defense into pieces.

“We got fragmented a little bit,” Ham said of his offense.

The Warriors, who went on a 14-0 run late in Game 1 with Looney on the bench, again gave the Lakers trouble with one more shooter on the court — the first major adjustment of the series.

“It was hard for us to guard four shooters,” Hachimura said. “Defensively they were more aggressive I feel like. They had all the loose balls and the rebounds and everything.

“Yeah, that was the game.”

The Lakers, after dominating at the basket in Game 1, got pushed to the perimeter.

“Just our stagnation. … I felt like I still have to go back and watch the game. But my gut feeling, my instincts tell me that my eyes saw us settle a little bit, mishandle the ball some early,” Ham said. “We were right there early on neck and neck. A couple possessions got away from us early.”

And the Warriors, they ran away, making half of their 21 threes while locking down the Lakers’ offense.

“We’ll be better,” Davis said. “I’ll be better making those shots. We’ll get back home on our home floor and try to take care of business.”



This story originally appeared on LA Times

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