In a result that will undoubtedly shock the world, the Los Angeles Lakers did not have enough to keep it close with the Golden State Warriors. LeBron James, Rajon Rondo and Lonzo Ball did not participate and it showed. Golden State was at full strength (including DeMarcus Cousins) and, well, it also showed as the Warriors ran away with a 130-111 victory.
But really, Klay Thompson was all Golden State needed. He hit on the first 10 three-pointers he attempted, and was especially hot in a third quarter that really separated the two teams.
When Thompson gets it going as he did Monday night, there simply isn’t anything an opposing defense can try to do. If you pay too close attention to him, one of the Warriors’ other incredible options gets open. If you don’t pay close enough attention, well, he hits 10 of his first 10 3-pointers.
For the Lakers, their lack of a true point guard once again really hurt their offensive flow. Brandon Ingram tried as he could to organize the offense, but missing the team’s three primary creators is tough (if not impossible) to overcome against any team, let alone one of perhaps the most intimidating assortments of NBA talent the league has ever seen.
If Rondo can’t return by Thursday, it’ll be interesting to see if Luke Walton rolls with more of Alex Caruso just to get someone in there who thinks like a point guard.
Another change that should be coming sometime soon is Ivica Zubac being inserted into the starting lineup. Tyson Chandler still isn’t moving particularly well, and JaVale McGee is very obviously still recovering from pneumonia. Zubac is the only center available who seems capable of working on both ends.
Honestly, this outcome was probably to be expected. Maybe Golden State would take the Lakers lightly and trudge through an ugly game, but once Thompson started hitting the way he was, this one was over.
The Lakers will mercifully have a couple days to hopefully recover before taking on the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday.