Desperate to get a win to even the series, the Warriors shot the lights out from beyond the arc to take Game 2 127-100 from the Lakers and head back to Los Angeles with things all tied up at one game apiece.
The Warriors won this contest in the middle part of the game, scoring 41 points in the 2nd quarter and 43 in the 3rd quarter to seize control, build up their big lead, and effectively end this one early. Fueled by the type of shot making that has spurred their run of title contention over the better part of the last decade, the Warriors hit a blistering 21 of their 42 shots from behind the arc for the game, including a 16 of 35 over those two periods.
The Warriors were led by Klay Thompson, who scored 30 points on 11-18 shooting, including going 8-11 from behind the arc. Moving well off screens and getting better opportunities vs. a Lakers defense that was put into rotation more often by the Warriors offense than they were in Game 1, Klay got the space he needed to get his shot off and hit them when he did.
On the other side of the court, LeBron James led the way for the Lakers, scoring 23 points on 10-18 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and three assists in his 28 minutes of action. LeBron was able to find the range on his jumper in this one, connecting on three of his eight shots beyond the arc and several over jumpers in the mid-range. LeBron also found his way into the post a bit more than in Game 1, finding some angles to attack a Warriors defense that was very effective packing the paint.
Outside of LeBron, Rui Hachimura had a strong game off the bench with 21 points and five rebounds. Rui shot the ball well from distance, connecting on four of his six three-pointers and going 8-14 from the field overall. Mixing in spot up jumpers, post ups, and strong drives, Rui found his offensive form after not getting as many opportunities in Game 1.
Overall, however, this game was much more about the Warriors' level of desperation and the tweaks to their game plan after their Game 1 defeat that pushed them towards success on Thursday.
Steph Curry handled the ball much more in this game, running more pick-and-rolls and leveraging his gravity as a shooter to bring Anthony Davis up higher defensively and spread out the Lakers' team defense. With two defenders on him, Curry then passed to open teammates -- in particular Draymond Green -- who was able to drive into the paint to either create offense for himself or teammates who were planted beyond the arc.
The result was many of the open three pointers the Warriors got, and more assists for Curry who was able to set up his team for makable shots after drawing multiple defenders to him. Curry would end the night with a game-high 12 assists after tallying three in Game 1, a clear byproduct of the changes to the Warriors' offensive approach.
On the other side of the ball, the Warriors also changed up by making Draymond the primary defender on Anthony Davis, which helped to limit AD's touches and presented differed and more challenging defensive looks to him to navigate.
Davis scored 11 points on 5-11 shooting from the field and 1-1 from the foul line, a much lower volume of attempts from both the field and the the line than in Game 1. After the game, Coach Ham credited Green's individual defense and the Warriors' scheme for crowding the paint to limit some of AD's attempts, noting the he and his coaches will need to adjust and get more creative in finding their star big man more opportunities offensively while Davis himself said that he'll "be better" in Game 3.
But those are questions to be answered and adjustments to be made in the next game when the series continues on Saturday. The Lakers, as disappointing as this loss is, still achieved the split they sought and grabbed home-court advantage and will look to bounce back from this one in Game 3.