The chase for California basketball supremacy will be on at the Chase Center Saturday night when the Golden State Warriors host the Los Angeles Lakers. The ref will throw the first jump ball at 5:30 p.m. Pacific for a national ABC broadcast.
It’s been a thrilling reunion for the Warriors with the return of Klay Thompson from injury. The sharpshooter pairs with NBA megastar Steph Curry to form one of the best combinations in NBA history.
On the other side of the court, the Lakers bring plenty of star power. LeBron James returned from an injury last week and led the Lakers to a thrilling overtime win over the New York Knicks. He partners with acrobatic big man Anthony Davis to give the Lakers a formidable 1-2 punch.
The Lakers have been hurt by injuries all season and enter the showdown at 26-30, fourth in the Pacific Division. They’re hanging on to a playoff spot, at ninth in the Western Conference. James has averaged 29.1 points a game but has only played in 39. Davis has put in 23.4 a game when healthy.
Golden State was 41-14 heading into Thursday’s game with the Knicks. Thompson has played in 12 games and scored 16.7 points a game since his return Jan. 9.
Curry is just being Curry. He’s scoring 25.5 a game. Andrew Wiggins has also been great for the Warriors all season. Wiggins is averaging 18 a game.
California sports betting continues to be discussed with proposals coming together for a potential vote in November.
What do the oddsmakers say?
The sportsbooks are still high on both teams getting far in the NBA playoffs. Golden State is listed as the second choice to reach the NBA finals from the Western Conference at +220.
The Lakers, despite being ninth in the conference, are the fourth choice on the board at +1000.
Curry and James have won a combined six Most Valuable Player trophies in their career. Right now, DraftKings lists Curry at +500 to earn the honor again, with James at +800.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr is one of the favorites to be Coach of the Year (he won in 2016). As always, Draymond Green is a front-runner for Defensive Player of the Year. He’s the second choice on the board at DraftKings to win that award.
Numbers to know
The Warriors are considered an offensive juggernaut and entered Thursday night’s game with the Knicks averaging 110.5 points as a team. Defensively, they rank second in the NBA, giving up just 102.7 points per contest.
Los Angeles has had issues on the defensive end and ranks near the bottom of the NBA, allowing 112.5 a game while scoring 110.9.
The Lakers are 24-31-1 against the spread and just 12-13-1 on the road with or against the points. Golden State is 29-23-2 against the spread this season.
Los Angeles leads the all-time series, 257-170.
The big 10
The Warriors have been the favorite on the sportsbooks in eight of their last 10 games, five times by double-digits. When the spread has been 10.5 or higher, Golden State has only covered once – so beware of a big number.
Golden State is 5-5 against the spread in those 10 games. Five games have gone over the title, four under and one push.
Los Angeles has been the underdog in six of its last 10 contests. They have not covered the spread in five of those games. Six of the Lakers’ last 10 games have hit on the over.
Fast five – last five games between the Lakers and Warriors
Warriors 121, Lakers 114
It was Opening Night of the 2021-22 season and the Lakers let a 10-point fourth-quarter lead get away. James had 34, Davis had 33, but Curry got more help. Curry put in 21 points and the Warriors bench scored 55 points.
Lakers 103, Warriors 100
It was the first game of the NBA’s “Play-In” Tournament and the Lakers earned the seventh seed in the playoffs thanks to a clutch three by James. Golden State got 37 points from Curry.
Lakers 128, Warriors 97
James had a triple-double and the Lakers built a 15-point halftime lead. Montrezl Harrell (now with the Washington Wizards) had 27 off the bench.
Lakers 117, Warriors 91
Six Lakers scored in double figures and this one was over early as the Lakers jumped out to a 20-5 lead in the first five minutes.
Warriors 115, Lakers 113
Golden State rallied from 14 down in the fourth quarter and didn’t lead until 2:40 left in the game. Curry had 26 points.
The play: advise on what to bet
Things just aren’t great in Lakers Land right now. The big news in the NBA trade deadline was the Lakers made no deals and James and Davis can’t be too happy about that.
Here’s the thing, if the Warriors are going to win, it’ll probably be by a healthy margin. I bet that this one turns into a Warriors blowout.