The Los Angeles Lakers fell to 11-4 at the top of the Western Conference after their stunning 113-115 defeat to the Golden State Warriors last night.
After a commanding first half performance, which saw the Lakers lead 64-48 at the interval, Steph Curry was the catalyst for a stirring Warriors comeback win.
The talismanic Golden State guard hit 19 of his 26 points in the second half of the game as part of an eye-catching fightback.
Fourth Quarter Ultimate Warrior Domination
After falling behind 64-48 at the interval, the Warriors clawed back just five points of that gap in the third quarter of the game, meaning they headed into the fourth quarter 92-81 behind.
However, with further solid contributions from Kelly Oubre Jr. with 23 points, Erich Paschall with 19 points and Andrew Wiggins with 18 points, the Warriors outscored the NBA Championship favourites 34-21 in the final quarter to clinch a famous win.
The clutch play though came from Curry as with just over a minute left in the game, with the Warriors leading 112-110, he landed a stepback three-pointer to put them decisively five points ahead.
STEPH. CLOSER. 🔥
He finished with 26 PTS as the Warriors get the win! pic.twitter.com/qseL1P74Zd
— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 19, 2021
Even so, Lakers legend LeBron James came incredibly close to forcing the game into overtime at the buzzer.
The defeat ends a five-game winning streak for the Lakers and means their rivals the Los Angeles Clippers, as well as the Utah Jazz, could join them on an 11-4 record, should they win their games in hand on the Lakers.
Speaking about the loss, James felt that his team was unfortunate to lose the game.
“I think we had some tough breaks, some tough calls against us in the second half that slowed our pace down. We couldn’t get back into a rhythm,” he stated after the game.
However, Warriors star Curry was elated with the win stating
“We kept our composure. The second unit was amazing both halves. We got some momentum in the second half to give us a chance and carry us down the stretch.”
The win moves the Warriors to 7-6 on the season so far and they lie in seventh place in the Western Conference just ahead of the hot Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies have won all of their last five, including notable wins over the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns in that run.
Other NBA Results From Monday
There were five other games on Monday including a matchup between two contenders in the Eastern Conference and it was the Brooklyn Nets who emerged victorious in that game beating the Milwaukee Bucks 125-123 in another tight encounter.
James Harden became the first Nets player to score over 30 points in his first two games for the team netting 34 points in the win. Fellow Nets superstar Kevin Durant got in on the action with 30 points, but it was Durant’s clutch 3-pointer which clinched the win that was most important.
— NBA (@NBA) January 19, 2021
Giannis matched Harden’s 34-point haul but was unable to stop his Bucks dropping to 9-5, while the Nets win moved them to 9-6 in what is proving to be a very competitive Eastern Conference.
In other games, Kyle Lowry’s 23 points led the Toronto Raptors (5-8) to a 116-93 win over the Dallas Mavericks (6-7). 28 Points for Bam Adebayo was key to the Miami Heat (5-7) defeating the Detroit Pistons (3-10) 113-107.
The Houston Rockets (4-8) third game post James Harden was a disappointment for Rockets fans as they were beaten 125-120 by the Chicago Bulls (6-8) for whom Zach LaVine hit 33 points.
Two games are scheduled for later today with the Denver Nuggets (6-7) facing the Oklahoma City Thunder (6-6) and the Utah Jazz (9-4) will hope to close in on the Lakers in the Eastern Conference as they take on the New Orleans Pelicans (5-7).