LOS ANGELES—Trailing by seven points after three quarters Lonnie Walker IV, a guard who has been buried on the bench in the Playoffs this far, spearheaded the comeback by scoring all 15 of his points as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Golden State Warriors, 104-101 on Monday, May 8. Walker had the Crypto.com Arena rafters shaking with his brilliant and clutch shots, and now the Lakers have a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Walker shot 6 of 9 from the field in the 4th quarter of Game 4, including the go ahead jumper with 1:53 remaining in the game which gave the Purple and Gold a 100-99 lead. “It just comes with a lot of confidence, it’s probably a difficult shot for others, but it really isn’t a difficult shot for me,” explained Walker postgame.
With Walker shooting himself into Laker playoff lore, LeBron James and Anthony Davis embraced him for a group hug to celebrate the monumental victory. He became the first Laker off the bench with 15 points in the fourth quarter of a playoff game since Kobe Bryant achieved the feat 26 years ago.
One final note on Lonnie Walker IV before recapping the thrilling action, Lakers coach Darvin Ham deserves credit for having faith in the Dead eye shooter, inserting him in crunch time.
The Lakers, after starting 2-10, are on the verge of advancing to the Western Conference Finals. They would also dethrone the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors in the process.
With the Warriors’ facing the prospect of being down 3-1, reigning NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Steph Curry delivered a triple-double performance. Curry not only scored a game-high 31 points, but he dished out his 2023 playoff-high 14 assists while grabbing 10 rebounds.
It was a performance for the ages- universally recognized as the game’s greatest shooter, his pinpoint passing combined with his crafty moves solidifies him as one of the games greatest point guards of all time.
James scored 27 points and Anthony Davis had 23 points and 15 rebounds for the seventh-seeded Lakers, earning their eighth consecutive home victory since March.
The Warriors led by 12 late in the third quarter, but the Lakers chased down the champs and finished them with Walker leading the way.
Davis, who blocked 11 shots in the first three games, wasn’t able to protect the rim with the same ferocity when his defensive matchups required him to go out to the perimeter, and the Warriors capitalized with 52 points in the paint.
It was a testament to the power of celebrity in Tinsel Town. Showtime is back!
Jack Nicholson returned to his courtside seats for the second time in their last three home games. The Lakers’ 86-year-old superfan headlined another celebrity-studded crowd including Chris Pratt, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, Dave Chappelle, Dustin Hoffman, Kim Kardashian, Colin Jost and Flea.
Game 5 is in San Francisco at Chase Center on Wednesday, May 10. The Warriors backs are against the wall. Tipoff is 7:00 p.m.