The Golden State Warriors kept their NBA title defense alive on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) with a 121-106 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, who saw star center Anthony Davis depart after taking a blow to the head.
The Warriors cut the deficit in their Western Conference semi-final series to 3-2.
The New York Knicks also stayed alive as Jalen Brunson scored 38 points in a 112-103 victory over the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden that pushed their Eastern Conference semi-final series to a sixth game.
Golden State and New York now must win on the road on Friday to give themselves a chance to win their respective series on Sunday.
Only 13 NBA teams have rallied from 3-1 down to win a series. The Warriors did it against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2016 Western Conference finals — then a Cleveland Cavaliers team led by LeBron James did the same against them in the NBA Finals.
“Coming into this game, we just wanted to win one, give ourselves a chance, knowing that we have a big game six down in LA and we obviously need that one to stay alive,”Warriors star Stephen Curry told broadcaster TNT.
Curry scored 27 points to lead six Warriors players in double figures. Andrew Wiggins scored 25 points and Draymond Green delivered a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds.
“All the way up and down the roster there were contributions,”Curry said.
The Lakers are unbeaten at home this post-season, but they could find themselves without Davis, who departed in the fourth quarter after taking an inadvertent elbow to the head from Golden State’s Kevon Looney.
A rattled Davis, who scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds, headed for the bench and was eventually helped to the locker room, not returning to the game.
“He took a shot to the head,”
“He seems to be doing really good already. That’s the status right now.”Lakers coach Darvin Ham said after the game.
James led the Lakers with 25 points, but Los Angeles couldn’t match the energy of the desperate Warriors.
Curry drained a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer to give Golden State a 70-59 halftime lead.
Wiggins’s putback dunk pushed the Warriors’ lead to 18 points early in the third quarter.
They led by double-digits most of the second half, but Austin Reaves drilled a three-pointer that cut the deficit to nine with 5:25 remaining.
Curry responded with a step-back jumper and a three-pointer and the Lakers wouldn’t get the deficit under 10 again.
Elsewhere, the New York beat the Miami Heat 112-103 on Wednesday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Knicks denied the Heat’s first attempt to become just the second No. 8 seed to reach the conference finals and sent the series back to Miami for Game 6 on Friday night.
RJ Barrett added 26 points and Julius Randle — his face a little swollen after getting hit by Bam Adebayo in the first quarter — had 24 for the fifth-seeded Knicks, who stayed alive in hopes of reaching the conference finals for the first time since 2000. They did that by getting by the Heat in seven games in the second round, a possibility that still exists.