LOS ANGELES — Reigning champions Golden State’s freewheeling, 3-point style of play changed the NBA and made Stephen Curry a household name. But on Friday night, the team failed to deliver a final streak of devastating deep shots, losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games in the Western Conference Semifinals.
The Lakers won Game 6, 122-101.
The game was one of the most highly anticipated playoff matchups in years and was the first time Curry faced Lakers star LeBron James since the 2018 NBA Finals when James was with the Cleveland Cavaliers. . But the series didn’t live up to the hype after all, as the Lakers opened the series with a thrilling win, followed by heavy losses in Games 2, 3 and 5.
In Game 6, Golden State looked bad from the start. The Lakers started the game 24-9. Golden State’s Klay Thompson missed nine of his first 10 shots. Curry missed four of his first five games. And just before halftime, Lakers guard Austin Reeves sent a last-minute shot that sent the Cryptocom Arena into a frenzy, giving Los Angeles a 10-point lead. James led the push in the third quarter to extend the lead to 19 points, and the Lakers entered the fourth quarter with a solid lead. Golden State never recovered.
That means the Golden State dynasty, which has won four championships since 2015 behind Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green, may be coming to an end, or at least a transformation. Golden State, which has one of the most expensive squads in the league and a new collective bargaining deal meant to curb spending, will likely seek to cut costs. It could be a big shift for the team, given that it has gone from a rudderless mid-sized franchise to one of the most financially valuable franchises under Curry’s helm over the past decade.
However, this season has been a struggle for Golden State. Finished 44-38 as the sixth seed in the Western Conference. Worst loading record in the league11:30.
But there were moments when the team could explore vintage performance.
Curry had the best game of his career in the first round of the playoffs. Golden State faces the #3-seeded Kings in Game 7 of the showdown in Sacramento. Curry scored a record 50 points and made seven 3-pointers in Game 7. It was a reminder of the magic that made his team so great.
Golden State had home-court advantage in the conference semifinals against the seventh-seeded Lakers. However, a loss in Game 1 at home set the tone for the series. Golden State looked dominant in Games 2 and 5 at home, but Game 4 was the series turner. Golden State made some unusually sloppy mistakes along the way that sent the team down a tough hole with a 3-1 series record.
Ultimately, it was too heavy for Golden State to overcome.
This series is a reminder that it’s hard to stay on top for long.
Green, a four-time All-Star, has a player option next year and is expected to test free agency.he had his own good season of the year But he turns 34 next March, so Golden State may be reluctant to offer him the maximum contract. Green was prone to impulsive behavior, including punching teammate Jordan Poole in training camp, and had the league’s second-highest record of technical fouls during the regular season.
A five-time All-Star, Thompson still has moments when he looks like one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, but at 33, after two major injuries, he’s gone. Defense slowed significantly. His contract expires after next season.
Golden State also needs to decide what to do with the young players the team has been trying to develop while chasing championships, a path that has been criticized for being too taxing on the 35-year-old Curry. Notably, the 23-year-old guard Poole struggled hard in the playoffs, a less-than-ideal scenario considering Golden State signed him. 4 year contract extension It will be worth up to $140 million in October. Other young players such as Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody (both 20) have been in and out of the lineup throughout the season.
Additionally, the deal of Bob Myers, who has been the team’s general manager for the past ten years, this year ends. It may be left to another architect to take the dynasty to the next level.