The Golden State Warriors did what they were expected to do Wednesday night. They won Game 5 at home against the Los Angeles Lakers, cutting LA’s series lead to 3-2 in the process. But just because they won as expected, it doesn’t mean that the Warriors may have seized momentum back in this series, getting the Dubs to believe that they can come back from 3-1 down like they did in the 2016 Western Conference Finals. For the Warriors vs. Lakers odds in Game 6, LA is a slight favorite.
Along with the expected production of Steph Curry (27 points), Draymond Green stepped up big time in this elimination game. After scoring 20 points for the first time in over three years in Game 5 of the Kings series, he did it again Wednesday night, putting in 20 and grabbing 10 rebounds in the 121-106 victory.
Something else Golden State did was keeping Lakers players who aren’t named James or Davis in check. After getting burned by Lonnie Walker IV in Game 4, the Warriors let the big two get their points (25 for James; 23 for Davis), but no other Laker scored more than 15 points.
Despite the loss, the Lakers hope that returning to Crypto.com Arena will lead them to another series win. So far, LA is following the script from their first-round win over 2-seed Memphis: take home-court in Game 1 then go undefeated at home to win the series in six games. Including a Play-In Series win over Minnesota, the Lakers are 6-0 at home this postseason.
There’s plenty of mystery surrounding Davis’ injury. The Lakers did not say whether he was diagnosed for a concussion, but head coach Darvin Ham said he was “woozy” on the bench before heading back to the locker room after the contact. If Davis did suffer a concussion, he would be evaluated 24 hours after the injury. His status for Game 6 will be up in the air right until game time. But early reports on Thursday are good for Davis.
For the rest of the Lakers, Ham has worked his role players into things very well during the playoffs. D’Angelo Russell has been a spark since being acquired at the trade deadline. We also saw big games in the postseason by Rui Hachimura, Austin Reaves, and Walker IV. Even though these are the 6- and 7-seeds in the Western Conference, they are both among the favorites in NBA futures betting. The Lakers are tied with Boston for the third-lowest odds: +450 at FanDuel.
Warriors vs. Lakers Odds & Our Prediction
The Warriors are a tough out. In Curry’s last six seasons without losing a big chunk of time to injury, Golden State has won four championships and lost two other times in the NBA Finals. They were behind 1-0 and 2-1 in last year’s Finals against Boston and again down 2-0 in the first round this year. They will not go quietly.
If Davis plays, the Lakers will be poised to win as two-point favorites, but honestly, all of the pressure is on LA. Expect a huge effort from James–he’s in his 21st season, so who knows how many of these chances remain. But if the Warriors can lock down the Lakers’ role players, they can escape with a victory.