The Los Angeles Lakers looked dead in the water at halftime Wednesday night against the Golden State Warriors in their Western Conference play-in game. Golden State led by 13 and had been running LA ragged. The Lakers looked tired and a step slow. Then two young Warriors talked trash, woke up LA's two stars and the rest, as they say, is history.
Juan Toscano-Anderson had a run-in with LeBron James as the two teams walked off the court during a timeout with 1:57 left in the first half. He bumped into James and had words for the four-time MVP. Toscano-Anderson wasn't the only young Warrior to jaw with a Lakers star. Jordan Poole got into it with Anthony Davis with 4:13 left in the first half, leading to a double technical foul call. Until that point, Davis had been having one of his worst games as a Laker.
Those interactions seemed to wake up both James and Davis, who had struggled through the first half. In the second half, both guys turned it on. Davis saved his best for last, scoring 13 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, while James cruised to a triple-double with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. He also hit a jaw-dropping, 35-foot 3-pointer to win the game in the final minute. The Lakers took the 103-100 victory and earned the seventh seed in the Western Conference.
ESPN's Dave McMenamin broke this all down in a detailed video on Thursday:
Look, if Stephen Curry or Draymond Green talked trash to James and Davis and the Lakers wound up winning, the Warriors would probably be fine with that. But reserves like Toscano-Anderson and Poole trying to jaw with two of the league's top 10 players? Get the hell out of here. That's embarrassing and the leaders on the team need to have a talk with them.