Davis, James deliver as Lakers top Curry's Warriors
LeBron James no longer has to do it all against Stephen Curry on the NBA's big stage, not even close.
Anthony Davis plugs the middle and takes away the easy chances inside. Dennis Schroder has the energy to help chase No. 30 all over the court. D'Angelo Russell can hit a big shot with a hand in his face.
That's the thing about these new-look Los Angeles Lakers - they take so much pressure off the game's all-time scoring leader and LeBron believes in them, even with the defending champions on a 14-0 run with their home crowd rocking.
Davis had 30 points, 23 rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots, James added 22 points and 11 rebounds dueling with Curry in their latest postseason showdown as the Lakers held off a late flurry by the Golden State Warriors to win an entertaining Game 1 in the NBA's Western Conference semi-finals 117-112.
"We've been playing playoff basketball for about two and a half months now just to punch our clock to be able to play right now in the postseason," James said.
"We were very resilient tonight. ... We know how great they are on their home floor, so to withstand that, it's another good step for our ballclub."
James' 23 points were his third-fewest in 23 playoff games against the Warriors. His previous-low in a win was 27 in Game 7 of 2016 Finals.
For all-time scoring leader James and Curry - who has the most 3-pointers ever and is reigning NBA Finals MVP - this is a new chapter in the long rivalry between the superstars after they faced off in four straight NBA Finals from 2015-2018 while James played for Cleveland.
Curry scored 27 points, Splash Brother Klay Thompson had 25, and Kevon Looney grabbed a career-high 23 rebounds for his fourth game of this postseason with 20 or more. He also had 10 points and five assists. Thompson made a 3 with 5:19 to go that cut the Lakers' lead to 112-104.
The defending champion Warriors will try to even the series in Game 2 on Thursday night back on their home floor at Chase Center, where LA fans could be heard chanting "Let's go Lakers!" after the final buzzer.
Davis dominated from the opening tip, making nine of his first 10 shots, while Russell scored 19 points and dished out six assists against his former team.
"I thought AD (Davis) had a great game. Obviously he dominated and he got blocked four shots and altered some others," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
That's what this team has been doing now for the last few months. They have been one of the best defensive teams in the league for a reason and he's a huge part of that."
In New York, Jalen Brunson scored 30 points and keyed the run the Knicks needed just in time to get by a Miami team playing without Jimmy Butler, levelling their Eastern Conference semi-final series at a game apiece with a 111-105 victory.
Julius Randle returned on Tuesday night from a sprained left ankle that sidelined him in Game 1 with 25 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. RJ Barrett scored 24 points for the No.5-seeded Knicks, while Josh Hart finished with 14 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.