Los Angeles – The Los Angeles Lakers played their best basketball tonight. Unfortunately it came at a time where the Warriors were on the receiving end. Golden State has been down by 20 or more points and came back with no problem but when they lost Draymond Green to an ankle injury things got worse.
The Lakers 117-91 victory over the Warriors was the one of the worst losses for Golden State this season. Los Angeles got off to their best start this season scoring 73 points to end the first half. That was a good indication, they were clicking on every cylinder. The Lakers 41 points was the most Los Angeles has scored in a first quarter.
“We were just never in the game. I mean right from the beginning we were fouling them like crazy, I think they had 16 free throws in the first quarter, 26 maybe in the first half if Im not mistaken,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “And then we got destroyed on the boards and we turned it over. We had no chance from the very beginning, we weren’t ready to play, they came out and played a great game. Just a very disappointing night overall.”
While both teams started off slow, the Lakers went on a 11-0 run early amassing a 25-14 lead. Golden State got more involved to cut the lead to 8 points but Los Angeles 36 points was no mach for the Warriors. James Wiseman got his second foul and sent Kyle Kuzma to the line with 0.1 left in the first quarter.
By the second the Lakers increased their lead by 29. Andrew Wiggins picked up his third foul and Draymond Green was hobbling up the court but stayed in the game. Los Angeles played aggressive and muscled their way in the paint on both ends of the court. A dominant performance put the Lakers up 60-31.
“First six minutes we put ourselves in a hole,” said Stephen Curry. “They kept the pressure on us, a tough game all the way around.”
Curry finished with 16 points and Eric Paschall had 18. Too many fouls and turnovers was the achilles heel for Golden State but 16 fouls fouls in the first half was unacceptable. In the final seconds of the first half, Curry missed an easy layup while LeBron James made a 27-foot shot at the buzzer to end the half 73-44.
“It’s my job to figure it out on both sides of the floor and what benefits our team and myself,” James said regarding their two-game winning streak. “I’m definitely not OK with losing and its my job to figure that out.”
Los Angeles 73 points is a season-high first half points. The Warriors had 11 turnovers and shot 4-for-17 from the field. Green left the game with an ankle sprain and did not return. Without their General on the floor, Golden State had no one to pump them up as Green does every game. Kerr said he didn’t think Green’s injury was serious.
By the fourth both teams took their starters out midway and the bench played much of the quarter. The Lakers had six players in double figures and eight players with nine or more points. Tonight is defintiely not a night the Warriors want to remember, they get the day off tomorrow.
“Coming in here having won three in a row, feeling pretty good about things, this was very very surprising for me,” said Kerr. “But there’s going to be a handful of games every year that are sort of inexplainable, and this is one you don’t spend too much time on. You flush the toilet and move on.”
The Warriors have two back-to-back games against the Portland Trail Blazers and the Phoenix Suns this Wednesday and Thursday night before the All-Star break kicks off March 5th.
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