The Los Angeles Lakers’ Lonnie Walker emerged as an unlikely hero as they overcame the Golden State Warriors, putting the NBA champions in danger of missing the playoffs.
Walker led the Lakers to a thrilling 104-101 victory in the fourth quarter with 15 points.
They now lead the best-of-seven series 3-1.
In the fourth quarter of their game in Los Angeles, the Golden State, led 84-77 with Stephen Curry once again in the spotlight.
But the game was transformed by the entry of 24-year-old Walker, who has had trouble making an impression since joining the Lakers on a one-year deal last year after battling a string of ailments.
Walker was surrounded by LeBron James and other Lakers teammates at the final buzzer as the Lakers outscored their opponents 27-17.
Walker had been told to be prepared to assist before the game, according to James, who finished with 27 points in the triumph.
“I’ve been telling him ‘Lonnie, you stay ready. We’re going to need you at some point’,” James said.
“For him to be as young as he is, to have that professionalism, to come out and stay ready when his number was called… We don’t win this game without Lonnie Walker tonight, that’s for sure.”
Game five of the series will take place in San Francisco on Thursday (03:00 BST), with the Lakers leading the series 3-1 and the Warriors needing a victory to keep the series alive. On Monday, Curry led the Warriors with 31 points, 10 rebounds, and 14 assists.
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