Anthony Davis, the Lakers’ quiet superstar, more ready for a sarcastic counterpunch than a lead blow, flexed his muscles and roared into the fresh air.
His baseline drive in the last minute put the Lakers ahead by six points, putting them on the brink of what was a won 113-105.
Still understaffed, the Lakers quickly built a 20-point lead against the NBA’s first quarter defending champions on Sunday at the Crypto.com Arena. Then they spent the rest of the game desperately trying to hold on to the tiniest bits of it.
Although the Warriors would tie the score once in the third quarter and once in the fourth quarter, they were never able to take the lead and push through.
Davis scored 39 and a returning Stephen Curry had 27 for the Warriors, who also got Andre Iguodala back in their lineup. The Lakers were still without LeBron James and D’Angelo Russell, as Russell progressed and “trended” in a positive direction toward a comeback.
Austin Reaves led the Lakers with 16 points off the bench and had eight assists. All five starters scored at least 10, with Jarred Vanderbilt grabbing 13 rebounds and Dennis Schroder finishing with 11 points and six assists as he did his best to upset Curry.
But it was Davis, the go-to guy, in the first and fourth quarters who pushed the Lakers forward and snapped the Warriors five-game winning streak.
It is the third time this season the Lakers beat Golden State, all since the trade deadline.
The Lakers will play at home on Tuesday against Memphis, who will do without Ja Morant.