LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Hollywood premiere went well three quarters for Los Angeles Lakers superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis vs. Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors.
But it was a flop for their new supporting cast, including Los Angeles native and former league MVP Russell Westbrook.
Curry, a two-time MVP, scored 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the Warriors, who scored 10 points down to stun the Lakers 121-114 at the opening Tuesday night.
The Lakers cooled in the fourth quarter and lost the lead in the middle of the period.
James had 34 points and 11 rebounds, while Davis had 33 points and 11 rebounds. No other Lakers have scored in double digits.
“These two guys were great,” said coach Frank Vogel. “We will be very good if we get such performances. We just need to defend ourselves better. This is a team that is new to each other, so everyone finds their own way a little. “
Wesbrook scored just 4 of 13 on eight points in his Lakers debut.
“For him, more than anyone else, this will be a period of adaptation,” Vogel said. “He is part of our culture, our system, he is a new guy, he has to find his own way. When you’re used to being the guy who has the ball most of the night, it’s hard to play others like LeBron and A.D. It’s just a little different for him. It will suit us, but it will be a period of adaptation. ”
James and Davis said they subsequently helped comfort Westbrook.
“I told Russ to go home and watch the comedy,” James said. “Smile on his face. Don’t be so hard on yourself. “
At the end of the third quarter, the Lakers were leading 84-74 after Kent Basemore’s jump, but the Warriors were slowly closing the gap.
“We finished the quarter badly all night,” Vogel said. “We gave up the fourth quarter with 38 points. If you do this, you will lose most of your nights. Our defense is just not up to par. I thought we did a good job on Steph, but the backside was much better in the first half than in the second. ”
Curry shot three free throws in the final seconds of the third quarter after being fouled on a three-pointer and Jordan Poole and Damion Lee scored three-pointers early in the fourth.
Poole’s layup with 9:17 left put the Warriors 91-90 ahead and finished with 20 points. The Warriors extended the lead to 98-90, after which the Lakers closed twice to two points.
But Curry and Nemanja Belica both scored 3-points to give the Warriors some breathing room. Bjelica scored 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Lee also scored 15 points.
“We kept our composure and didn’t flip the ball in the second half, which was a huge advantage if we just kept the pace and looked a little,” Curry said. “But the fact that everyone in the audience has made a significant contribution speaks volumes about our depth and how we want to play in the future. We are very happy about this, and it is good that 1: 0 ”.
Davis and James dominated most of the game, welcoming a host of new teammates including Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan.
The Lakers, who won the NBA title in October 2020, have refitted after being defeated by the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs last season. They left only three players – James, Davis and Talen Horton-Tucker, who was eliminated from the game with a thumb injury.
James and Davis made 3s and jumpers. In one notable episode, James deflected an erroneous pass and passed it to Davis, who scored a goal and took the 68-61 lead with 7:51 to go in the third quarter.
The Lakers, who showed 0-6 in the preseason, were leading 59-53 at half-time.
Warriors: Golden State is left without All-Star defender Clay Thompson, who continues to repair the Achilles tendon injury that cost him his entire 2021 season. … The teams last met on May 19, when Los Angeles beat Golden State 103-100 at home in the opening of the league’s first game tournament.
Lakers: Howard greeted the fans with a short address just before the game, mentioning that it was the 75th anniversary of the NBA and ending it with, “Come on!” … Jordan and Basemore started with James, Davis and Westbrook. … Anthony and Rondo got a great game when they changed the ball with 5:40 to the end of the first quarter.
Warriors: host the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.
Lakers: Phoenix host on Friday.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports