Lakers beat Warriors in Game 4: How Lonnie Walker’s fourth-quarter rally put Los Angeles up 3-1

The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Golden State Warriors 104-101 in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Monday to take a 3-1 series lead. Here’s what you should know:

  • LeBron James scored 27 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
  • Warriors All-Star Stephen Curry recorded his third playoff triple-double with 31 points, 14 assists, 10 rebounds and three steals.
  • Los Angeles guard Lonnie Walker IV scored a career high in the playoffs with 15 points, all of which came in the fourth quarter on 6-of-9.

the athleteInstant Analysis:

Lonnie Walker IV launched the fourth quarter rally

This was Walker’s game. Walker, who started in the first half of the season before being let out of rotation after the trade deadline, scored all 15 of his points in the fourth quarter. With D’Angelo Russell (1-for-10), Lakers coach Darvin Ham rode hot hand with Walker.

He helped keep the Lakers’ sporadic offense alive, as they nearly outscored Golden State (17 points in the fourth quarter) by themselves. Ham’s decision to reinsert Walker into the rotation during Game 3 proved to be a series adjustment. – Poha

LeBron-Steve Chess Match

We’ve seen the LeBron-Steve chess match for years in the NBA Finals. James will call out any player Curry defends and have him watch James, drawing a substitution from Curry. James hadn’t used this tactic much before in the series, but he went at it endlessly in the fourth quarter of Game 4.

The Warriors attempted a pre-switch, with Klay Thompson quickly scrambling into the mix, with Curry switching to Thompson’s man. But James’ patience and determination eventually ensured Curry turned on him by the end of roughly a dozen or so Lakers possessions in the fourth quarter.

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The results were often either James baskets, Curry errors, and/or kickoff passes to Walker, Austin Reeves, and Dennis Schroeder. This is a tried and true offensive wrinkle that James and the Lakers have been sitting on and finally unveiling when they needed to survive a close game.Poha

What went wrong for the warriors?

They scored just 17 points in the fourth quarter, taking a seven-point lead over a 12-minute stretch of the season. Thompson and Carey were actually the ones firing on them in the closing minutes.

With enough time still on the shot clock to look for a better look, Thompson took a very difficult three seconds into the final two minutes he missed. With 20 seconds left, Curry singled against attacking Anthony Davis in isolation on the drive and dropped 30 feet to the back.

It would have been tired legs for both of them. Curry and Thompson played the entire fourth quarter, visiting 42 and 41 minutes on the night, respectively. But blame the lack of usable depth on that. The Jordan Bull slump is deepening. He went scoreless in his ten minutes and has now missed the last eight seconds.

Steve Kerr gave Paul a quick hook in the second half after just two minutes when he bobbed away on another spin. Kerr played only six players in the fourth quarter: Curry, Thompson, Gary Payton II, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, and Moses Moody. He didn’t seem to trust anyone else in this particular match. – Slater

Lakers dominance on home soil

Unless the Lakers reach the NBA Finals and face the Miami Heat, they won’t have the home court advantage in any series. Four playoff series starts on the road are tough to win. But if it were possible, it would look similar to what the Lakers do: dominate their home games, winning all six of their postseason games at the end of the season. Arena.

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With this level of dominance at home, it made LA work easier on the road, as they only needed to steal one game to advance. Their success at home has been the X factor that gives them a huge advantage so far. – Poha

Can the Warriors go back to this?

certainly. It’s always reasonable to think that a team can come back from 3-1 down when two of the last three games are at home. They will be favored in Game 5. They have to deliver a solid punch in Chase Center, where they have been dominant this season.

Game 6, if you go that far, will be a tough test like this one faced by this core. The Lakers crushed the Grizzlies in Game 6 to shutout two weeks ago. But this is a formula that warriors have followed once before.

They were once down 3-1 to the Thunder. They tackled the business at home in Game 5, had Thompson’s legendary performance in Game 6 at Oklahoma City, and then stole the series home in Game 7. This was the team’s 73-win season.

The kernel is older. This depth is flawed. This season has been bumpy. The task seems unreasonable. But this is not impossible. – Slater

what are they saying

After the game, Kerr said the three or four illegal screens called against the Warriors in the fourth quarter were “disappointing”.

“The Lakers are a team that plays with a lot of skill,” Kerr said of the illegal screen calls. “They understand how to make some calls. I thought they took some of the fluff and they were rewarded.”

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background story

Davis scored 23 points with the Lakers, 19 of them in the first half, and grabbed 15 and three rebounds. Reaves also played well down the stretch, putting up 21 points and four assists on 3-of-6 from 3-point range.

Curry was the only scorer above 20 points for Golden State, but Wiggins contributed 17 points and four rebounds. Payton got the start with the Warriors and finished with 15 points, shooting 7-for-9 from the field.

Highlight of the game

2023 NBA Playoffs bracket

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(Photo: Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

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