After an abysmal game against Atlanta on Friday night, the Lakers put together a complete team effort in an exciting 112-95 victory over the league-best Golden State Warriors. The Lakers looked fantastic on both sides of the court, moving the ball unselfishly on offense while holding the Warriors to 40 percent shooting (including 13 percent from 3) and forcing 20 turnovers.
The young Laker guards looked like stars against the Warrior backcourt, hounding the Warriors with pesky defense and confidently asserting themselves on offense. After struggling against the Hawks, D’Angelo Russell returned to form with 21 point, 5 assists, and 4 steals. He dominated the start of the second quarter, contributing three big three-pointers and a steal/hockey assist to build a 10 point lead. Jordan Clarkson looked great as well, with 25 points and several big steals of his own.
Russell and Clarkson also had plenty of help, as 7 Lakers scored in double-digits today. Resident double-double machine Julius Randle stayed on track, chipping in 12 points and 14 rebounds. Huertas took advantage of his big minutes with 10 points and 9 assists of his own. Bass and Young both scored in double digits, with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Kobe returned from a shoulder injury for the big game, but struggled against the defense of Harrison Barnes. The Mamba fought his way to 12 points in 24 minutes, but on an inefficient 14 shots with 3 turnovers.
Golden State clearly struggled from the field (Curry was 6-20 and Thompson was 7-20), but the Lakers deserve a lot of the credit. Byron Scott and his staff put together a great defensive gameplan, trapping Curry and Thompson every time they had the ball and forcing the Warrior role players to step up. The Laker guards used their athleticism to get into the passing lanes and score easy points off turnovers in transition. Steph and Klay didn’t get any help today, as not a single other Warrior scored in double digits and Draymond nearly had as many turnovers as points (7-9).
Looking ahead to the next game, the face the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night at home.