Magic Johnson knows very well that free throws made the difference in the Los Angeles Lakers’ Game 3 domination over the Golden State Warriors. However, contrary to the belief of the haters, the NBA legend thinks LeBron James and Co. deserved all the freebies they got.

The Lakers took down the Warriors on Saturday, 127-97, with Anthony Davis stepping up big time and tallying 25 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, three steals and four blocks to lead the Purple and Gold. While the Dubs didn’t help themselves with their poor shooting from beyond the arc, the biggest difference-maker was undoubtedly the free-throw disparity. LA had 37 free throw attempts and made 28, while Golden State had 17 and made just 12.

In the aftermath of the game, several Dubs supporters argued that the game was “Warriors vs. referees” all along. Considering the difference in their attempts from the charity stripe, many said that it would have been impossible for anyone to beat the Lakers.

Johnson, for his part, shared his belief that the Lakers earned those free throws by consistently attacking the rim. He also heaped praise on LA’s defense that made things difficult for the Warriors.

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“The Lakers team defense kept the Warriors off the 3-point line in tonight’s 127-97 Game 3 win! In Game 2 the starters only went to the free throw line twice. Every starter got to the free throw line tonight because the Lakers attacked the basket and didn’t settle for the outside shot,” Johnson explained.

True enough, the Lakers really took advantage of the Warriors’ lack of a defensive big in the contest, forcing them to foul in the paint constantly. It’s the reason why Anthony Davis had 12 freebies, in which he made 11.

The Warriors will have to keep the Lakers away from the charity stripe if they want to avoid another trashing. But then again, its easier said than done.