Despite winning three in a row for the first time this season leading up to Sunday night’s contest against the defending NBA champions in LA, the Warriors suffered a savage 26-point loss to Lebron James and the Lakers, falling to eighth in the West.

The Golden State Warriors were looking poised to upset the Los Angeles Lakers for a second time this season as one of the hottest teams in the NBA currently, having just won back-to-back-to-back for the first time this campaign and hoping to build on their recent improvement.

Four-time MVP and four-time NBA Champion Lebron James had other plans, however, and helped the Lakers jump out to a commanding lead within moments following tip-off. Despite scoring first, the Warriors found themselves down 10 points with less than four minutes elapsed. Lebron played just 24 minutes himself, his lowest minutes total this season.

Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors scores on a layup in front of LeBron James #23 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers during a 117-91 Lakers win at Staples Center on February 28, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Warriors were able to close the gap to within 8 points with just over three minutes left in the first, but Los Angeles ballooned the lead to 20 by the end of the quarter and were good enough on the night to just put it in cruise control the rest of the way.

Draymond Green was in his bag to start the game, which is rare for him, for sure, but a left ankle injury forced him to exit in the second quarter and he would not return.

The Warriors looked devoid of any fight without their defensive leader on the floor. Dubs Head Coach Steve Kerr told reporters in his post game press conference that he had spoke with Dray at halftime who informed him the ankle injury was 'not too bad’.

The game Sunday night marked Lebron’s 1,300th regular season game, and he was determined to get the W after the Warriors were able to overcome a 14-point, fourth quarter deficit in their previous matchup on January 19th. The Lakers were without their star center, Anthony Davis, but it did not matter much.

Steph finished with 16 points on 5-13 shooting and 7 assists, while Eric Paschal led the team in scoring with 18 points in just 22 minutes.

Damian Jones #30 of the Los Angeles Lakers guards Eric Paschall #7 of the Golden State Warriors during a 117-91 Lakers win at Staples Center on February 28, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Warriors are starting to look more like a play-in team than a playoff team, despite convincing wins over four of the seven franchises ahead of them in the Western Conference standings.

Steve Kerr seemed somewhat unbothered in his interviews, and was quick to put Sunday night’s game behind him.

“I’ve been in the league long enough to know that there’s gonna be a handful of games every year that are sort of inexplicable,” Kerr told reporters in his Zoom conference, “and this is one that you don’t spend too much time on. You flush the toilet. You move on.”

The Warriors will have a day off Monday before practicing Tuesday ahead of a 7 p.m. PT matchup against the Trailblazers in Portland Wednesday night.

Top Image: Harry How/Getty Images