In their last two meetings, LA and Golden State have needed extra quarters to declare a victor, but four quarters was enough for the Warriors on Friday.
The Warriors almost let the game slip away from them (again) as the Lakers went on a run in the fourth quarter, even taking the lead early in the final quarter. However, a few big baskets by Kevin Durant and more than a handful of questionable calls by the referees got it done for the Dubs tonight.
Durant led the way for the Warriors with 33 points, 7 assists, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks.
Despite the loss, the Lakers got a few impressive performances for their star rookies Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma.
Ball was locked in from long range early, nailing his first four three-point attempts. His five made three-pointers is a career-best for the Big Baller. Ball ended the night with 24 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 block. After struggling with his shot early in the season, it’s nice to see Ball draining them.
Kuzma, on the other hand, has not cooled down since the start of the season. After pouring on a career-high 38 points in the Lakers’ victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, Kuzma led the Lakers once again with 27 points to along with 14 rebounds and 2 steals. His recent stretch of games is something few Lakers rookies have done.
2️⃣5️⃣— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 23, 2017
2️⃣5️⃣ (and counting)
Kyle Kuzma is the first rookie Laker with three straight 25-point games since Jerry West 56 years ago.
Kuzma continues to build on his surprise rookie season, but with every game his scoring outbursts are getting less surprising.
Last, but certainly not least, Randle was a huge part of the Lakers’ comeback in the fourth quarter. After playing just 8 minutes in the Lakers’ win over the Rockets, Randle came out and contributed 21 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in 24 minutes off the bench.
He continues to be impressive in his limited role, but that doesn’t mean he has to play such few minutes. Regardless of what the front office plans to do with him before the trade deadline, Randle needs to see the floor more for.
The Lakers will head home to Los Angeles to host the Portland Trailblazers for the first time this season on Saturday. Los Angeles lost 103-100 in Portland last time the two teams met, and Portland will be without their star point guard, Damian Lillard. It should be a good one.