In what very well might have been a Western Conference Finals preview, the Los Angeles Lakers faced off against the Golden State Warriors. Sure, Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Klay Thompson, Anthony Davis, Draymond Green and, well, every other NBA player who would participate in such a series did not participate, but still.
The tension was palpable for the second time these two teams have faced off this summer (the Lakers won last time).
In what was slightly less than a sellout crowd, the Warriors avenged themselves, 88-80.
One time Lakers summer league standout D’Angelo Russell sat courtside for the game right next to agent Aaron Mintz rocking Warriors gear as a nice reminder of what might have been (a couple times over).
Golden State actually employed an NBA player (Michigan’s Jordan Poole) and that seemed to be the difference. The Lakers did compete as they have most of this summer, but this team is just rough. There’s no real way around it.
In some injury news, Zach Norvell Jr. did return to action having sat out the Lakers’ last game with a foot issue. It was hard to notice his presence at times, but it was good to see him at least able to participate in the game. Kind of.
The Lakers now have one game remaining before they move on to the knockout stage of Las Vegas Summer League. It’s hard to imagine they’ll last very long in those settings given the talent disparity they have faced on a nightly basis.
Wednesday night, the Lakers will face off against RJ Barrett and the New York Knicks once again in the Thomas and Mack Center at 6:30 p.m. PST.