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Despite a blown lead, the Lakers hold on to beat Warriors in a nail-biter

Although the Warriors erased a 20-point lead in the blink of an eye, the Lakers escaped Sunday with a much needed win.

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

After a roller-coaster of a game, the Lakers held on late to beat the Golden State Warriors in their Sunday matinee, 113-105.

Needing to shoulder even more responsibility with LeBron James and D’Angelo Russell still out, Anthony Davis was the best version of himself, scoring a whopping 39 points, pulling down eight rebounds and handing out six assists.

Everything went L.A.’s way from the jump as Davis was aggressive scoring 15 in the first quarter alone. Draymond Green, a player who has given Davis problems in the past, left the game early with a left-hand injury but was able to play the rest of the way. On the other end, the combination of spirited defense and the Warriors being unable to hit a jumper helped the Lakers lead reach as much as 20.

But the NBA is a game of runs, and if you thought it was over early against the champions, you would be sorely mistaken.

The purple and gold missed ten-plus shots and Steph Curry, who made his return to court after a lengthy absence, made his presence known as he canned a pair of threes to help swing the momentum back the Warriors’ way. The Lakers’ once comfortable lead had suddenly evaporated to just a single point heading into the half.

Both teams struggled to get going offensively in the third quarter as there were many turnovers, missed shots and uncontested layups being blown. Entering the fourth, L.A. held on to a slim lead after an Austin Reaves’ three gave the Lakers a two-possession lead.

In order to beat a team like the Warriors however, it couldn’t just be the Davis show. Fortunately, the Lakers got timely contributions as Reaves made key baskets and dished out eight assists, Jared Vanderbilt had 13 boards and Troy Brown Jr had 14 points.

With 4:44 left in the fourth, Dennis Schröder hit a clutch corner three to give the Lakers a five-point advantage and some momentum while Curry rested on the bench. Upon Curry’s return the Warriors closed the gap and it was back to a one-possession game with under two minutes left.

But with the game hanging in the balance, Davis was monstrous. A pair of clutch free throws and a tough baseline floater helped seal an important win down the stretch for the Lakers.

Key Takeaways

It was an ugly game, but L.A. ultimately did enough of the little things to win. Despite struggling with his offense, Schröder once again scrapped on defense, Reaves’ playmaking was a much needed shot in the arm and Brown hit timely shots all game long.

The Lakers improve to 31-34 on the season and find themselves just a half-game out of the play-in. The homestand will continue on Tuesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies, who will be without Ja Morant.

If Davis can continue his incredible run and the team is able to get enough contributions elsewhere, they could keep themselves in the hunt during this critical last leg of the season.

You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.

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