A pair of huge plays from rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis has helped deliver the Golden State Warriors their second preseason victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at Crypto.com Arena on Friday.
In another game defined by their young players, Jackson-Davis put the Warriors in front with a putback layup with 32 seconds on the clock. The 23-year-old then blocked a layup attempt from fellow rookie Jalen Hood-Schifino on the ensuing possession, but only after a Steve Kerr challenge when Jackson-Davis was initially called for a foul.
A pair of clutch free throws from Jonathan Kuminga extended the Golden State lead to three, with Los Angeles unable to find the needed to triple to push the game to overtime.
The Golden State Warriors bench stood up again to deliver the team’s second-straight win to begin their preseason campaign.
If Warrior fans had hope the team’s defensive and turnovers worries were a thing of the past, they were quickly reminded through the opening three-quarters against a Laker team playing with both LeBron James and Austin Reaves this time around.
After the Warriors begun the game on a 13-6 run, the Lakers poured in 37 first-quarter points to take a five-point lead. By half-time they’d dropped 70 points on 54.6% from the field, including making 10 of their 18 (55.6%) three-point attempts.
Stephen Curry’s 12 points and 11 for Jonathan Kuminga helped Golden State to 63 first-half points, leaving a seven-point margin they quickly eradicated with a 10-3 run to open the third.
Yet just as the Warrior starters sought to build some momentum, the defensive intensity softened again and the turnover issues heightened. Even veteran point-guard Chris Paul wasn’t immune, finishing his 19-minute stint with five turnovers as Golden State racked up 17 as a team by the end of the third period.
But as showcased in the preseason opener last Saturday, the Warrior bench was largely able to control the battle of the bench units. That was signified by another composed, even more impressive performance from their other rookie, Brandin Podziemski, who helped control the pace with a 10-point, six-rebound, 10-assist double-double .
The 19th overall pick had nine assists through the opening three quarters, helping Golden State finish the period on a 15-5 run to tie the game at 100. Both teams reserves had their opportunities in the fourth, but nine more points from Kuminga and eight points from Moses Moody, along with the late heroics of Jackson-Davis, eventually allowed the Warriors to prevail.
After notching a game-high 24 points last Saturday, Kuminga shook off a thumb injury to repeat the dose with 26 points, three rebounds and three assists on 9-12 shooting in 27 minutes. Moody added 15 points and three rebounds, while Jackson-Davis was more involved than the preseason opener with eight points, four rebounds and that game-winning block.
Earlier on, Curry led the starters with 18 points, three rebounds and four assists in 20 minutes, yet the trio of Paul, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins combined for just 23 points on 9-27 shooting.
The Warriors have a quick turnaround to their third preseason game against the Sacramento Kings on Sunday, with the two teams to renew their battle from a seven-game series in the first-round of the 2023 playoffs.