Lakers vs Warriors Play-In: NBA Players React to Crazy Game-Winner From LeBron James

Published 05/20/2021, 1:13 AM EDT
May 19, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23)plead their case to referee Josh Tiven (58) in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers faced the Golden State Warriors tonight in the NBA play-in tournament. It was the biggest game of the season so far for both teams, and it lived up to the billing. It was a thriller that went right up to the final buzzer and the Lakers managed a narrow win.

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Many criticized the play-in format, but so far, no one can deny how exciting these games have been. The Lakers had a horrible start and were atrocious on offense. At half-time, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Dennis Schroder had a combined 2-22 from the field. But a huge second-half turnaround saw them squeaking out a three-point victory.

Along with fans, other NBA players took to Twitter to talk about arguably the most exciting game of the season so far. A lot of those praises were for LeBron, who reminded the league why he is King James. He essentially hit the game-winning shot from 30 feet to seal the game.

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When in doubt, LeBron James will lead you out

After being just 1-7 from the field at halftime, many questioned LeBron for failing to show up. But in the second half, he did what he does best, and that is proving critics wrong. He finished the game with an amazing 22 point triple-double, with 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

He was a force on both ends. Defensively, he drew important fouls, kept the pressure on, and protected the paint. Offensively, he was orchestrating the ball movement, dishing out dimes, and most importantly, hitting the big shots. This was a reminder that even if he is having a horrible performance, one cannot simply count out LeBron until the final buzzer.

May 19, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) gets past Golden State Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson (95) for a basket in the first quarter of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Lakers struggled offensively but made up for it with solid defense

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Throughout the season, the Lakers were riding on their excellent defense. It was a season of historic offenses with the Nets and the Bucks standing out. But Frank Vogel’s men played to their strength which is resilient defense.

Tonight was another display of their defensive prowess as they choked the Warriors’ offense in the second half. Led by Alex Caruso and Wesley Matthews, the Lakers refused to give any free space to the Warriors and clogged them up. The Lakers will need more of this as they enter the playoffs as the seventh seed in hope of making a historic championship run.

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May 15, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) gets a high five from forward Anthony Davis (3) after a foul in the second quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

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Aaron Mathew

1653 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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