But in Game 2, they responded.
On Thursday night, May 4, the Warriors absolutely demolished the Lakers, winning 127-100 and evening the series at 1-1. Klay Thompson led the way with 30 points, but Steve Kerr’s lineup change also played a huge factor.
“I’m just proud of J-Mike. It’s been a tough year for him for a lot of reasons…,” Kerr said via 95.7 The Game. “He just stayed ready, and he took advantage of his opportunity.”
With Green in the starting lineup, the Warriors were able to space the floor a bit more. He only ended up playing 12:32, but he made a massive impact in the time he was on the floor.
Green finished the game with 15 points (which would tie for his second-highest total of the regular season) on 6-of-9 shooting from the field and 3-of-6 shooting from behind the three-point line. He also added one rebound and two assists to his totals.
Obviously, Thompson’s improved shooting and Stephen Curry’s overall performance stood out the most in the Game 2 win, but Green’s activity and floor-spacing proved to be a crucial part of the Warriors’ overall success.
Steve Kerr Breaks Down Warriors Rotational Choices
Following Golden State’s Game 1 loss, Kerr broke down some of his rotational decisions regarding the forward position. Jonathan Kuminga didn’t get any playing time (nor did he play in Game 2, other than in garbage time), and there were some questions about the choice.
Kerr explained that it’s simply a matchup thing, but everybody, including Green, has to stay ready for when their number is called.
“The playoffs are tough in that regard,” Kerr said via NBC Sports Bay Area. “JaMychal just got through basically not playing six of the seven games against Sacramento because it just wasn’t an ideal matchup. The opponent changes, you see the opportunity for JaMychal to play in a game last night. He stays ready. He comes out, knocks down a couple of jumpers. That’s what the playoffs are about. Every game is different, every series is different.”
Stephen Curry Discusses Warriors’ Fouling Adjustments
In Game 1, the Lakers attempted 29 free throws to the Warriors’ six. After the game, Curry spoke about the adjustments Golden State needed to make in order to close that gap.
“AD [Anthony Davis] is going to put pressure on you all game, so you’d like to not let him get eight off, that might not kill you,” Curry said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “It’s more the other guys, the ball handlers. [Dennis] Schroder gets 10 free throws. That can’t happen. Whether we think its a foul or not we can’t put ourselves in that situation. That’s how he makes an impact because he is super quick, you know, in his first step. We do have a certain strategy around him, but you can’t let him get to the line 10 times, that’s a killer. We’ll make those adjustments. Understand again, it was a quick turnaround from Game 7 against Sac [Sacramento Kings]. We’ll be locking in on what the Lakers do well and our confidence is high that we can bounce back.”
In Game 2, the Warriors shot 16 free throws, and the Lakers shot 17—a much more palatable difference.