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Lakers vs. Warriors preview: Back-to-back in the Bay

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The Lakers head up the Pacific coast to take on a division rival after a tough loss against the Clippers.

Jeff Gross

The Los Angeles Lakers' marathon start to the season comes to it's conclusion when the purple and gold visit the Bay Area to take on the Golden State Warriors in their fourth game in five nights. The Lakers have lost their first three games, putting on their best showing against the Los Angeles Clippers Friday night but struggled to close the game out in the fourth quarter.

Now, they'll look to avoid losing their fourth straight game, which won't be an easy task. The Warriors made quick work of the Lakers during preseason and have been resting up early in the season. Their only game so far this season was against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, giving them two full days of rest while barely leaving their doorstep to open the season in Sacramento.

Klay Thompson finally signed the maximum-level extension he desired, landing a monster four-year, $70 million deal to stay with the Warriors as Steph Curry's Splash Bro. Let's just pretend Steph didn't sign a four-year, $44 million contract in 2012 that looks like peanuts compared to the extension Klay earned (or demanded, depending on your perspective).

The Lakers are coming off of their best game of the season, even if it was a loss. Many things went right, and Jeremy Lin did a good job of taking the wheel after looking tentative through the first two games. It's still a work in progress, but he showed open to the criticism he took and made an effort to adjust. Kobe Bryant looked phenomenal, tearing apart the Clippers' defense and exposing their biggest weakness: Perimeter defense. He'll have a much harder time trying to work around Thompson, Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala.

The Lakers were close to notching their first win of the year but wound up with fool's gold. This may turn into a futile effort, but the tough start to the year is nearly over. The Lakers only have two games next week, and both will be at Staples Center. The year may start 0-4, but there was definite progress Friday. Get through this game, maybe put on a stunning performance in the Warriors' home opener, then get back to Los Angeles and hit the drawing board.

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Station: TWCSN, NBATV