Warriors stay alive in Game 5 behind Stephen Curry, while Lakers lose Anthony Davis to head injury

Warriors stay alive in Game 5 behind Stephen Curry, while Lakers lose Anthony Davis to head injury

The Golden State Warriors closed out the first half of Wednesday’s Game 5 with the former Splash Brothers to take an 11-point lead.

When they opened the second with a 9-2 run, they were in control. With their playoffs on the line, the defending NBA champions retaliated from a harrowing Game 4 loss with a 121-106 win over the Los Angeles Lakers to ensure their season wouldn’t end on Wednesday.

Adding to the Lakers’ woes, they lost Anthony Davis to a head injury late in the game, leaving his Game 6 status in doubt.

Stephen Curry and the Warriors stayed alive for Game 6. (Kyle Terada/Reuters)

Hot warriors from 3 to the start

Golden State opened Wednesday as it has earned so many of its wins in its four-championship run, connecting on four 3-pointers within 4:30 of Game 1 en route to a 17-5 lead. A Lakers team that has continued to go from strength to strength since a mid-season roster overhaul responded and erased its early deficit with a 50-50 tie midway through the second quarter. He did this by looking repeatedly at Davis, who thrived against an outmatched Kevon Looney in the post.

But the Warriors turned to deep ball again on a 20-9 run to close the half fueled by four more 3-pointers. They finished with a 6-0 stretch in the final 30 seconds that included a 3 from Klay Thompson and another from Stephen Curry as the buzzer sounded.

The Warriors then opened the second half by repeatedly attacking the basket and extended their 11-point halftime advantage to 79-61 with a 9-2 run. The Lakers cut the deficit with Curry on the bench to finish the third, but Golden State took an 11-point lead in the final quarter.

It was a familiar place until Monday, when the Warriors led 7 after three. But there was no late Lakers rally this time on Golden State soil. Los Angeles never came closer to 9 points again. When they lost Davis to injury in the fourth, the game was over.

Anthony Davis leaves late with a head injury

Davis took an inadvertent elbow to Looney’s head midway through the fourth quarter and headed for the sideline.

After sitting on the bench with his head in his hands in apparent pain, he walked to the tunnel with help, with the Warriors leading 102-90. He looked dazed as he left the court.

Davis what then would have been escorted to the cloakroom in a wheelchair for further evaluation before the end of the match. He was expelled shortly thereafter. After the match, head coach Darvin Ham said Davis’ condition had improved.

The Lakers did not offer an immediate diagnosis and Davis’ status for Game 6 was unclear after the game.

Curry leads, gets lots of help

Curry again led the way for Golden State with 27 points and 8 assists while shooting 12 of 24 from the floor. But unlike Monday’s loss where none of his teammates scored more than 17 points, he had plenty of help.

Andrew Wiggins added 25 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists while shooting 10 of 18 from the floor. Draymond Green was exceptionally aggressive on offense while totaling 20 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. He shot 7 of 11 from the field for his second 20+ point effort of the playoffs. Gary Payton II added 13 effective points alongside 6 rebounds while shooting 4 of 5 from the field.

Shooting issues have always plagued Thompson (10 points, 3 of 12 from the field) and Jordan Poole (11 points, 5 of 14 from the field). How they respond to Los Angeles for Game 6 will be key to Golden State’s chances of getting a Game 7 at home.

LeBron James led the Lakers with 25 points and 9 rebounds while shooting 9 of 17 from the field. Davis had slowed from his 18-point pace in the first half before his injury and finished the game with 23 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists. He did most of his damage against Looney, who has been moved to the bench since Game 1 as Green anchors the post in a small-ball Warriors starting formation.

Game 6 is scheduled for Friday night in Los Angeles.


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