Los Angeles Lakers
Lonnie Walker Sparks Lakers Game 4 Victory Over Warriors
The Los Angeles Lakers took a commanding 3-1 series lead in their Western Conference Semifinals tilt with the Golden State Warriors thanks to the stellar 4th quarter performance of Lonnie Walker.
Walker, who scored all of his 15 points during the 4th quarter, became the the first Laker with 15 points or more in the fourth quarter of a playoff game since Kobe Bryant did it 26 years ago to the day, leading the Lakers to the 104-101 win on Monday night.
“It just comes with a lot of confidence,” Walker said following the game, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “I made a couple of other shots prior to that, and I think my confidence was for sure at an all-time high. … It’s probably a difficult shot for others, but it really isn’t a difficult shot for me.”
The Lakers entered the 4th quarter trailing by 7.
“The game ball definitely goes to him,” Lakers forward LeBron James said of Walker. “We don’t win without him.”
“When your mind and your heart is in a good place, the body follows,” Lakers head coach Darvin Ham said of Walker, who signed with the Lakers on the midlevel exception last summer, and ended up starting 32 games for Los Angeles this past season.
“The greatest feeling you could ever imagine,” Walker said. “As a kid, this is something I’ve been dreaming of doing. Not just being a part of the playoffs, but impacting it, let alone winning in the playoffs. I’m truly proud of myself. It really shows my capabilities. Just my mental fortitude. I think the hardest thing of being able to play a lot and then not playing at all is sticking with it.”
Walker’s defense was also valuable, especially in holding down Warriors’ guards Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, who combined to shoot 4 of 15 in the fourth quarter.
“I’m a role player at the end of the day, and I got to do what I got to do for my team to win,” Walker said. “Doing all the little things, playing great defense, rebounding, taking a charge, whatever it may be.”
“Truth be told, it might sound narcissistic or not, but I’m in love with myself, and I want to be my best self,” Walker said. “So I think that’s the real goal. I’m ambitious, and I’m eager to be where LeBron and AD are and become a star.”