Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
NBA playoffs roundup: Lonnie Walker IV’s late heroics lift Lakers over Warriors
Lakers 104, Warriors 101
LeBron James finished with 27 points, and Lonnie Walker IV scored all 15 of his points in the fourth quarter as the Los Angeles Lakers built a commanding lead in the Western Conference semifinals with a 104-101 victory over the visiting Golden State Warriors on Monday.
Anthony Davis scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, and Austin Reaves added 21 points as Los Angeles took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 5 will be played in San Francisco on Wednesday.
The Lakers improved to 5-0 at home in the playoffs.
Los Angeles trailed by as many as 12 points in the third quarter before rallying for the victory behind Walker, who shot 6 of 9 from the field in the final period. Walker had 21 total points in the first three games of the series.
Golden State’s Stephen Curry amassed 31 points, 14 assists, and 10 rebounds, but Klay Thompson was held to nine points on 3-of-11 shooting from the floor and 3-of-9 success from 3-point range.
Andrew Wiggins scored 17 points, and surprise starter Gary Payton II added 15 for the Warriors, who did reel off three consecutive victories in the first round against the Sacramento Kings, but none of those contests was an elimination game.
Turnovers by Draymond Green and Curry in the final 10 seconds doomed Golden State’s chances. Walker made two free throws with 15 seconds remaining for the game’s final points.
The Warriors pushed in front 52-49 at halftime and looked to take control when they went on a 16-2 run in the third quarter to take a 73-61 lead. However, Los Angeles withstood the burst and trailed just 84-77 after three quarters.
A 9-0 run to start the fourth quarter gave the Lakers an 86-84 lead with 9:27 remaining after a layup from Walker, their first advantage since early in the second half.
Thompson drained a 3-pointer from the corner for a 99-96 lead with 3:01 remaining, but a 6-0 run by the Lakers on four James free throws and a Walker basket put the hosts up 102-99 with 1:19 left.
The Warriors continued to get limited minutes from Kevon Looney following an illness, while Payton headed to the locker room once in each half with an undisclosed ailment. Payton started for the Warriors for the first time this season.
Heat 109, Knicks 101
Jimmy Butler produced 27 points and 10 assists on Monday night as the host Miami Heat defeated the New York Knicks 109-101 to take a 3-1 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Miami, the eighth seed in the East, can clinch the best-of-seven series with a win on Wednesday in New York.
The Heat also got 23 points and a game-high 13 rebounds from Bam Adebayo.
Miami outhustled fifth-seeded New York throughout, winning the offensive-rebound battle 13-8. The Heat also had a 22-15 edge in points off turnovers, and Miami was quicker to loose balls.
Jalen Brunson led the Knicks with 32 points and 11 assists, both game-highs. Brunson’s output included a corner 3-pointer in the second quarter that went in off the glass.
Knicks guard/forward RJ Barrett added 24 points. Julius Randle, who fouled out with 3:08 left in the game, finished with 20 points and nine rebounds, but he also committed a game-high six turnovers.
New York’s Immanuel Quickley, who finished second in voting for NBA Sixth Man of the Year, missed the game due to a sprained left ankle.
His absence resulted in several Knicks changes. Quentin Grimes returned to the starting lineup, Josh Hart resumed his key bench role, and Miles McBride was added to the rotation.
Miami led 31-30 after the first quarter as Kyle Lowry made a midrange jumper with 0.5 seconds left. New York shot 60% in the period, going 3-for-7 on 3-point attempts. Miami hit 54.5% of its shot attempts, including 4-of-9 from deep.
Miami led by as many as 11 points in the second quarter before settling for a 56-48 halftime advantage. Adebayo led all first-half scorers with 16 points. For the Knicks, Brunson had 13 points, and Randle had 12. Miami outshot New York 50% to 28.6% in the second quarter.
New York again trailed by 11 in the third but cut its deficit to 90-81 by the period’s end. Butler had 11 points in the third, and Max Strus added eight of his 16 for Miami.
The Heat led throughout the fourth quarter, with the margin never falling below six points.
Miami shot 47.1% from the floor for the night. New York shot 48.7%, but the Knicks got nine fewer attempts due to turnovers and Miami’s offensive rebounds and relentless pursuit of the ball.
–Field Level Media