NBA

Lakers loss to Warriors 'what I expected' – LeBron

By Sports Desk October 19, 2022

LeBron James revealed the Los Angeles Lakers performed as he expected on opening night despite a disappointing defeat to the Golden State Warriors.

Tuesday's game was always likely to be a tough one for the Lakers, who missed the playoffs last season as the Warriors won the title.

And so it proved, with a dominant third quarter seeing the Warriors ease to a 123-109 victory.

James, entering his 20th season, led the Lakers with 31 points but acknowledged the team will need time at the start of the year working with new coach Darvin Ham.

"For us, I think we are what I expected from tonight," James said.

"Some great moments, some not so good moments, and that just comes from a team that's coming together for the first time. There's a lot of new pieces, a whole new system, coaching staff.

"But I loved the way we competed. Obviously with the turnovers, we're not going to win ball games like that, but once we start getting on the same page and know where guys are going to be, start going through in our system how we want to perform, that will get better with time.

"It was what I expected. We had some good times, and some other times were not as good as we would like."

The Lakers had 21 turnovers to the Warriors' 18, including 12 from their 'big three' of James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, which the four-time MVP said was "not acceptable".

That was not the only area in which the Lakers struggled, however, as they were a miserable 25.0 per cent from three-point range, making just 10 of 40 attempts.

The Lakers ranked 22nd in the NBA in three-point shooting last year (34.7 per cent), and James suggested the Warriors – 35.6 per cent on Tuesday and 36.4 per cent in 2021-22 – were letting their opponents shoot.

"We're getting great looks, but it also could be teams giving us great looks," James said.

"To be completely honest, we're not a team that's constructed of great shooting. That's just the truth of the matter. It's not like we're sitting here with a lot of lasers on our team.

"That doesn't deter us from trying to get great shots, and when we get those opportunities, we take them. But we're not sitting here with a load of 40-plus career three-point shooting guys."

The Lakers have still not won on opening night since 2016.

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