Game: Los Angeles Lakers @ Golden State Warriors
Time: 10:00 p.m.
Odds: Lakers +7, Warriors -7
The Golden State Warriors have been here before. Twice before, the Warriors have been down 3-1 in a playoff series. Tonight, they attempt to avoid elimination in Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinal series against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers snatched a 104-101 home victory in Game 4 on Monday to go up 3-1 in the best-of-seven series. The Lakers’ Austin Reaves and Lonnie Walker IV gave LeBron James and Anthony Davis the kind of supporting cast Stephen Curry didn’t get from his more highly regarded teammates. The Lakers’ second consecutive victory moved them closer than ever to their first trip to the Western Finals since 2020 when LA won the NBA title in the COVID bubble season.
Reaves, who had 21 points on Monday, significantly outperformed Klay Thompson, who scored just nine. Walker saved all 15 points for a crucial fourth quarter that helped the Lakers take the lead. The Warriors were in a must-win situation in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series with Sacramento. Stephen Curry responded with 50 points and the Warriors won easily 120-100.
Since Kerr took over as coach in 2015, the Warriors have defeated Western Conference playoff opponents 19 times in a row. However, twice in the past seven years, they have fallen behind 3-1. In 2016, they overcame Kevin Durant’s 40 points to defeat Oklahoma City at home in Game 5. That started a run of three straight wins that propelled them to the NBA Finals.
Three years later, they needed a victory in Game 5 at Toronto to stay alive in the NBA Finals. They got that win too, thanks to Curry’s 31 points. The Warriors would lose the series though after Thompson suffered a knee injury in Game 6. Curry, Thompson, and Draymond Green have all been here before.
The teams split the opening two games in San Francisco, giving the Lakers a chance to go up 3-1 at home by winning two straight. The seventh-seeded Lakers stole the home-court advantage in their first-round series by defeating the Memphis Grizzlies 117-112 in Game 1.
Thompson, a native of the Los Angeles area, made a big impact in Game 2, scoring 30 points in a performance that helped his team win 127-100. In Los Angeles, Thompson was unable to replicate that performance. In the two games in LA, Thompson totaled just 24 points while only hitting 8-of-25 shots.
With the Game 4 win, the Lakers are now 6-1 SU and ATS in their last seven games against Golden State. The Lakers’ defense has risen to the occasion in each of the last two games. LA allowed the Warriors just 101 and 97 points in Games 3 and 4. Both of those games went Under the total. The Under has now cashed a winner in six of the Lakers’ last nine games. The Over is 8-2 in the Lakers’ last 10 road games and the Lakers’ O/U record on the road for the season is 28-18.
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