For the third time this season, the Lakers and the Warriors played against each other. Unfortunately, this contest was way more like their meeting two days ago than the one early this month as the Warriors clobbered the Lakers, 109-85.
The Lakers were missing players once again. We know D’Angelo Russell was out but so were Julius Randle (hip) and Nick Young (toe). Even though the Warriors went on a 13-0 run early in the first half, the Lakers withstood that storm as Jordan Clarkson led a run that cut the deficit to three. But the Dubs ended the first half with a 9-2 run to take a double digit lead. It was actually a near-miracle that the Warriors only led by 10 after two quarters because the Lakers turned the ball over 12 times (they would end with 18 giveaways) and shot only 36 percent at the time. The Dubs did play pretty sloppily as well but with the discrepancy of talent between the two teams, they can overcome their mistakes.
L.A. came out flat in the second half and continued to do the mistakes that plagued them. The ball wouldn’t go into their basket because they took some rushed shots. The ball movement wasn’t there for some stretches. And when they do move the ball, instead of making the easy pass, they would try to thread the needle. You can’t do that against a team like the Warriors. Anyway, the poor shooting and turnovers led to the deficit growing to 22 points. Golden State put on a passing clinic in that quarter, which the Lakers should take note if they want to get to the next level. The Warriors got careless in the fourth for a bit as the lead went down to 13 but Kevin Durant’s three-point play snuffed the run.
There’s no denying that this was a tough game. The Lakers were already undermanned to begin with; they might as well be fighting Sephiroth with only a single digit in their HP and without any healing spells or items. The Warriors had their full crew and shot 52 percent compared to the Lakers’ 36 percent. They kept beating them whether it’s a one-on-one situation or backdoor cuts (the Warriors had 31 assists once again). It was basically unfair but no one is going to feel sorry for the Lakers. Hey, the Lakers were that unfair team, too, on multiple occasions. Kevin Durant had 29 points, Stephen Curry ended with 24 points (could’ve been 26 if it wasn’t for that missed dunk) and Klay Thompson finished with 18.
On the plus side, I did like Thomas Robinson’s hustle in his 16 minutes out there. He finished with 6 points and 10 boards and showed a lot of moxie when he tried to help the home team go one more push against the 2015 NBA champs. Larry Nance had his usual energizing game with 11 points and 7 rebounds. Brandon Ingram only scored 8 points but I liked the aggressiveness on both ends of the floor. He had nine boards, two steals and a block and did his best to stay with Durant (his statline is an impressive 29-6-9). Ingram only went 3 for 18 on the field but I like that he wasn’t passive and kept shooting. It shows that he’s not afraid to take the offensive load. Also, Clarkson did score 20 points and continued to show his defensive energy with five steals.
By the way, get well, Ian Clark and Draymond Green. That was a nasty collision.
Now the Lakers are below .500 (8-9) and it’s only going to get tougher. They have the Hawks and your all-time Laker favorite, Dwight Howard, coming into town on Sunday. Hopefully, Randle and Young can come back for that game. But whether they do come back or not, the Lakers must continue to persevere and continue to exhibit that fighting spirit we have seen all season.
Hope you guys had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Continue to enjoy the long weekend, guys.