The Los Angeles Lakers edged out the Golden State Warriors in Wednesday’s play-in game to snag the seventh playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Lakers now move forward to a first-round series against the Phoenix Suns. Before that commences, Anthony Davis responded to Warriors head coach Steve Kerr’s in-game comments.
Lakers top the Warriors in Play-in Game
The Warriors brought forth every bit a tough challenge for the Lakers Wednesday night at Staple Center.
Golden State dictated the first half behind their stout defense and collective performance. Meanwhile, Los Angeles struggled to find their offensive footing, with Davis, LeBron James, and Dennis Schroder combining for 11 points on 4-of-23 shooting.
The Lakers erased a 13-point halftime deficit in the second half behind their defense and star power. James and Davis combined for 36 points on 14-of-22 shooting that helped completely wipe out the double-digit deficit.
The four-time league MVP capped the game off with a go-ahead 3-pointer with under a minute left. After the win, things took an interesting turn as Davis got comic relief at Steve Kerr’s expense.
Anthony Davis comically responds to Steve Kerr’s in-game comments directed at the Lakers
The Lakers clawed their way toward a much-needed win against a feisty Warriors team.
After the first quarter, ESPN showed head coach Steve Kerr’s telling his team that Los Angeles had internal doubt.
“They got a lot of doubt down there, we’ve got a lot of belief,” Kerr stated via SportsCenter.
Anthony Davis didn’t take long to catch wind of the remarks as he took to Instagram to fire back using a series of laughing emojis. The 28-year-old likely didn’t take any offense to Kerr’s comments, but looking back, it’s comical. It’s simply coach speak that he used to pump up the Warriors after a solid first quarter holding a 28-22 lead.
Kerr’s motivation worked to guide Golden State to a 13-point halftime lead behind its collective play and stout defense.
The game’s pace changed behind Davis and James’ strong production. The star big man scored 13 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter while the four-time league MVP nailed a 34-foot go-ahead 3-pointer with just under a minute left in regulation.
All that gives Davis reason to laugh at Kerr’s remarks now, but the focus quickly shifts to their upcoming playoff matchup.
Lakers face tough challenge ahead against Suns
Davis and the Lakers must quickly shift their attention toward the difficult challenge ahead.
The Suns earned the No. 2 seed behind their stellar regular season led by their star-studded backcourt. Phoenix possesses a largely youthful roster, but Chris Paul provides playoff experience and leadership beyond his production.
However, the Lakers hold a clear edge through their overall experience and frontcourt size advantage. The team may have strong confidence from the impressive 123-110 win earlier this month.
The Suns had no answer for Davis, who tallied a game-high 42 points along with 12 rebounds, five assists, three steals, and three blocks. His dominant all-around performance made him the first player in Lakers history to record those numbers in a single game.
Los Angeles accomplished that without either LeBron James or Dennis Schroder available. James is still finding his legs under him, but his presence will give the Lakers a significant boost.
All these factors should make for a wildly entertaining first-round playoff series.