Zach Norvell Jr. Shines, But Lakers Fall Short To Conclude 2019 NBA Preseason Against Warriors
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Without LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Lakers fell short to conclude the 2019 NBA preseason against the Golden State Warriors.

Head coach Frank Vogel made the wise decision to rest most of his regulars in preparation for Opening Night against the Los Angeles Clippers, so Alex Caruso, Troy Daniels, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Jared Dudley, and Devontae Cacok drew the start.

Early in the first quarter, Caruso landed hard on the floor after converting a layup and was visibly in some discomfort. He eventually fouled Draymond Green and was then escorted back to the locker room to be evaluated.

Without the size of their frontcourt, the Lakers had to lean on their shooters and Caldwell-Pope was up to the task as he led the team in scoring with 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting. As a team, Los Angeles managed to hit five three-pointers but some unforced turnovers gave them a slim 32-31 lead heading into the second.

Zach Norvell Jr. continued his impressive preseason play as he scored eight straight points to open the quarter, including another slick crossover on Jordan Poole.

Despite a pair of free throws from Kostas Antetokounmpo that halted a Warriors 10-0 run, the Lakers found themselves playing catchup as their opponents found their rhythm from downtown. They only managed to score six points in the last six minutes of the period and went into the half down 71-55.

Norvell got the start in the second half in place of the injured Caruso and the team had a better offensive showing. The defense also picked up as the purple and gold managed to contest several Golden State jumpers and get into some early offense, helping chip away at the deficit.

However, D’Angelo Russell continued his hot shooting, knocking down jumpers that kept Los Angeles at bay. In spite of that, the Lakers were able to rally and narrow the Warriors’ lead to six as they went into the fourth down 94-88.

The Lakers looked like they were in a good position to close the gap after Norvell opened with a three, but Golden State answered with a flurry of scores that pushed their lead back to double digits.