FOX Sports writers are providing information drawn from games during the NBA knockouts. Here are their thoughts from Friday.
King 97, Warrior 86: Golden State needs to dig deep
The Chase Center crowd saw a team lackluster in transition, playing inspirational defense and burying a well-timed 3 seconds. It’s not the home team.
The King Sacramento not only defeat golden empire warriors in their own building, they beat them in their own match – definitively, 118-99 – to extend the season and their first series to Saturday on Sunday.
That collective shudder in the Bay Area stems from the very real possibility that the expiration date of the Warrior’s reign has arrived. They will find out on Sunday when the two teams convene again at the Golden 1 Arena to decide who goes on.
The defending champions, quite frankly, look old and slow. Their huge advantage in post-season experience is supposed to help them overtake the Kings; instead, it looks like the cumulative impact of all those protracted post-season periods has finally hit them. The lauded core of their four championships is at the heart of the matter. Steph curry missed free throws (three) and disposition (4). Klay Thompson acts as a human revolving door when defending (-28). Blue Draymond there are more fouls (5) than tackles (4).
Coach Steve Kerr said before the start of the fourth half that he wanted his team to make three stops in a row “to regain momentum.” That never happened. Golden State’s offense was the complete opposite of clutch, scoring 5 out of 7 three-pointers and 5 out of 10 free throws.
Meanwhile, The Kings have virtuoso performances from their three youngest players. De’Aaron Fox, 25, has 26 points, half of which are on the edge as he wriggles past multiple defenders. Monk Malik came on from the bench with 28 points, finding the perfect combination of hoops and three-pointers. Finally rookie Keegan Murray, 22 years old, has 15 points and 12 bounces. Coach Mike Brown gave him the final praise by keeping him on the floor for all but three minutes.
However, the fact that the Kings are an explosive offensive team is not new news. After all, they are the most powerful offensive team in the regular season. It is their defense that will worry Warriors fans. They held off the Warriors by 37% on shot, 31% from outside the arc, and those numbers would have been worse without Thompson and Curry’s ability to make contention shots.
“We knew we could score with anyone and in post-season our defense got better,” Fox said. “We must take our hat off to the defense.”
That they did on Friday night. Now the question is: Can they hang the Warrior’s crown on it?
— Buchou Ric
Lakers 125, Grizzlies 85: Memphis shows little resistance
Anthony Davis having 16 points and 14 rebounds while parrying five shots in a spectacular defensive display, D’Angelo Russell scored a career-high 31 in the playoffs and Los Angeles Lakers finished their first round Grizzly Memphis with a 125-85 win in Game 6 on Friday night.
LeBron James scored 22 points shooting 9/13 for the seventh-seeded Lakers, who won a series of playoffs in their own arena for the first time since 2012.
The Lakers have won all three of their home games in this streak, and the final victory is a terrifying testament to their ability as James and Davis are both healthy. Davis’ strong defensive presence largely halted Memphis’ attack in Game 6, while Russell’s five 3-pointers highlighted the impressive offensive effort of a blossoming team with unsurpassed ambition. enemy.
The Lakers took a 20-point lead in the first half and rallied 36 points in the third before winning over superman Jack Nicholson and a raving crowd. James and Davis even had to sit out the 4th half, keeping their feet for the second half.
The Lakers had to win a play-in to make it to the playoffs, even though this all-star team is no ordinary number seven seed. Los Angeles opens its next series on Tuesday against the winner of Sunday’s Game 7 between Sacramento and defending champion Golden State.
Ja Morant scored 10 points at 3/16 for the Grizzlies, which have won 107 games and two Southwest Division championships in the past two seasons, but only a series of playoffs.
Morant’s injured right hand seemed to hinder his shot, and he didn’t seem to want to drive the paint with his usual fortitude while Davis loomed in the middle. Morant’s teammates can’t pick him up: Desmond Banewho secured Game 7, got 15 points for shooting 5/16, while Jaren Jackson Jr.. There were 14 out of 3 out of 12 shootings.
Dillon Brooksthe Memphis agitator, who labeled James “old” after Game 2 and then sent off Game 3 for hitting James in the groin, ended a lousy 10-point run in Game 6 while Lakers fans lamented. o every step he takes.
The Lakers haven’t won a playoff series outside of the Florida bubble in 11 years, spending more than a dismal decade for the 17-time championship franchise with its once stellar fan base.
James and Davis have won a title together, but they failed to impress their home fans until two months ago, when their supporting cast progressed markedly on a deal deadline with a number of additions proposed by Russell. The dynamic duo improved to 5-0 in the playoff series where they both appeared in every game together.
The Grizzlies have the second-worst laning record of the 16 NBA knockouts in the regular season, and they’ve lost their first four games to the Lakers this season. They lost 3-1 in this series with consecutive losses in Los Angeles, but prevented elimination with a win in Memphis on Wednesday.
Lakers fans have sensed the importance of this moment and have had an effect, highlighted by the return of 86-year-old Nicholson back to his chair after a nearly two-year absence. Their team delivered, taking a 20-point lead in the first half and extending it to 36 points in the third.
– Related press
Ric Bucher is an NBA writer for FOX Sports. He has previously written for Bleacher Report, ESPN The Magazine and The Washington Post and has written two books, “Rebound,” about NBA forward Brian Grant’s battle with young-onset Parkinson’s disease, and “Yao: A Life In Two Worlds.” He also has a daily podcast, “On The Ball with Ric Bucher.” Follow him on Twitter @Ric Bucher.
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