Lakers needed ‘desperation’ win against Warriors

LeBron describes huge game, win over Dubs as ‘desperation’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Slumping on a three-game losing streak, the Warriors needed a win Saturday night.

But LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers — on a four-game skid of their own and now just hoping to protect their spot in the NBA play-in tournament — needed it even more.

On a night when LeBron dropped a season-high 56 points, the Lakers edged Golden State 124-116 at Arena.

It was LeBron’s highest-scoring effort in a Lakers uniform since joining the franchise in 2018. He also became just the fourth player in NBA history age 37 or older to drop at least 50 points in a game.

In his postgame interview with ESPN reporter Lisa Salters, LeBron was asked to describe his performance and Los Angeles’ win over the Warriors. King James only needed one word. And the look on his face said it all.


Even after the star-studded, emotional win, the Lakers improved to just 28-35 and currently hold the No. 9 seed in the play-in tournament. If the season ended Saturday night, LeBron and company would need to beat the 10th-seeded New Orleans Pelicans, then defeat the loser of the tilt between the No. 7 vs. No. 8 seeds — currently the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Clippers — to officially enter the playoff bracket.

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“Four-game losing streak, our season has been up and down,” LeBron continued. “I would say ‘desperation’ and ‘inspired.’ We played inspired basketball against a really good team. We needed this win for sure.

RELATED: Warriors’ road only getting tougher amid ugly losing streak

Meanwhile, Golden State dropped to 43-21 and is now a half-game behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the second seed in the West. The Warriors have lost eight of their last 10 games, a stretch that has brought back not-so-faded memories of the past two arduous seasons at Chase Center rather than the dynasty-level of play Golden State began the 2021-22 campaign with.

“Obviously, they’re the second-best team in the West,” James said of the Warriors. “They’ve been playing extremely great basketball all year. Obviously of late, they’ve been kind of struggling without Draymond [Green].

“But for us, we’ve been struggling all year, pretty much.”

The Warriors and Lakers match up one last time this season on April 7 at Chase Center. By then, Golden State hopefully will be fully healthy and gearing up for a postseason run.

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