LOS ANGELES—All good things must come to an end, including the regular season and the Lakers five game win streak. Ironically, neither was that good for the Lakers considering their underwhelming record this season earned them another lottery pick, which the recent win streak put them in jeopardy of losing.
Despite experiencing their first five game win streak in 4 years, the Lakers were no match for the Warriors (67-15), who for the first time in NBA history win 67 or more games in three consecutive seasons. The Lakers were outmatched from the starting tip.
Kevin Durant, who recently returned from an injury, lit the Lakers up to the tune of 15 first quarter points and the Dubs led by as much, 43-28, going into the second quarter. Durant stayed hot the whole game, scoring a game high 29 points, while going 11-16 from the field. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was pleased with his stars performance.
“Yeah, I’ll say. He looked great tonight,” Kerr said. “I thought he was spectacular with his shooting.”
The Lakers starters all played decent. Led by Jordan Clarkson’s 17 points, all of them scored in double digits. Larry Nance grabbed 11 rebounds as well to get another double-double. Still, the Lakers were never really in the game. They were able to cut the lead to seven points during the second quarter, but the Warriors quickly responded and Los Angeles was never able to come within single digits again.
Although the season might seem like a disappointment to Lakers fans, the team was able to win nine more games than last season, and Luke Walton had positive remarks about his first season as head coach.
“We wanted to come in here and start working with the group and build relationships and start working toward something special,” Walton said. “I think that we did that.”
Rookie Brandon Ingram had an up and down first season. He is undoubtedly poised to improve and progress and help the Lakers become the playoff winning team the fans expect. In spite of missing the playoffs for the fourth straight year, Ingram, like his coach, chose to be positive.
“I definitely think we learned a better way of winning ball games,” said Ingram of the season as a whole. “What it takes to win ball games and how we have how to be prepared each and every game just to get the best out of everybody.”
Looking forward, the Lakers will now have to focus on the upcoming draft. After finishing with the third worst record in the league they have a 48.7 percent chance of landing a pick within the top three. This is very important since they will lose their pick to Philadelphia should their pick fall outside of the top three.
Meanwhile, the almighty Warriors, boasting the leagues best record, will begin their quest for a third consecutive finals appearance with a showdown against the Trailblazers on Sunday afternoon.