Los Angeles Lakers: 3 takeaways from Christmas win over Warriors

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers survived an injury to their best player and defeated the two-time defending NBA champions by 26 points on Christmas Day.

It was about to be a classic third quarter comeback for the Golden State Warriors. A 17-point lead was shrinking, LeBron James appeared to strain his groin and the Warriors were down to the Los Angeles Lakers 78-76 after Stephen Curry made three free throws with 2:48 left in the 3rd.

But a combination of Rajon Rondo taking control on offense and overall great team defense saw the Lakers close the game on a 49-25 run to win their Christmas matchup after the Warriors cut the lead to two. Seven Lakers scored double-figures with Kyle Kuzma (19 points) and Ivica Zubac (18 points) leading the team.

This was the best team win of the season for the Lake Show and a learning point moving forward. They maintained their composure after a typical Golden State third quarter run and ended up routing the heavy title favorites. The Warriors have some issues with their roster and the disappearing play of Draymond Green, but Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala (their leading scorer with 23 points) are healthy and playing.

The win is obviously soured by the status of LeBron James’ strained left groin, which happened when he seemed to overextend while going for a loose ball. It’s considered mild and the muscle is intact, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports. An MRI is scheduled for Dec. 26, but he’s currently listed as day-to-day, according to ESPN‘s Dave McMenamin.

Until the severity of the injury is known, it’s best to withhold the potential impact of an extended absence, especially after L.A. outscored the Warriors by 12 points total once he went down.

The Lakers’ young core seemed to embrace the moment of playing in their biggest game of their short careers on the road on Christmas Day in the primetime spot, especially when LeBron went down. Throw in Lance Stephenson playing his guitar and this was a near perfect performance for the purple and gold.


From individual performances to confidence in the whole rotation, here are three takeaways from the Lakers’ impressive Christmas victory.