The Los Angeles Lakers are facing the Golden State Warriors in the second round of the playoffs, but they are struggling to stop the Warriors’ record-breaking three-point game. The Warriors have made 42 three-pointers in the first two games of the series, surpassing the league record for the most 3s hit by any team in the opening two games of a playoff round. They also had two 40-point quarters in Thursday’s 127-100 Game 2 win, which is the first time this has happened in franchise history.
LeBron James: Lakers Still the Best Defensive Team in the League
Despite the Warriors’ impressive performance, LeBron James believes that the Lakers are still the best defensive team in the league. He said that their defensive standards will not slip because of the opponent they are facing. The Lakers have the second-best defensive rating out of the eight teams remaining in the playoffs, allowing 106.5 points per 100 possessions. Only the New York Knicks have a better rating (105.9).
Lakers’ Offense Key to Staying Connected with the Warriors
Lakers’ coach Darvin Ham pulled his starters in the fourth quarter of Game 2, giving minutes to the end of his bench in Tristan Thompson, Shaquille Harrison, and rookie Max Christie as the Warriors had a 30-point lead. James said that the Lakers’ offense will be key to staying connected with the Warriors when their shooters get hot. They need to keep scoring, get to the free throw line, or get points in the paint. L.A. had only nine free throw attempts through the first three quarters after getting to the line 29 times in Game 1. Anthony Davis also had a major drop-off, scoring only 11 points on 5-for-11 shooting after scoring 30 points on 11-for-19 in the opener.
Despite the loss, L.A. is 15-5 in its past 20 games, and they have only lost consecutive games once since overhauling their roster with multiple trades at the deadline. The Lakers will host Game 3 on Saturday at Crypto.com Arena, where they are 4-0 this postseason. However, the Warriors are a tough opponent, and Ham acknowledged that they have their work cut out for them.
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