Lakers: Fisher, Bryant, Artest, Odom and Gasol
Warriors: S. Curry, M. Ellis, D. Wright, V. Radmanovic, A. Biedrins
5:39 L.A. hadn’t yet found the dominance that sparked a 14-2 lead the last time Golden State was at STAPLES (10-31), but they nonetheless lead by double digits at 20-10 after six minutes and change. The Warriors seemed to have little interest in transition defense, with L.A. taking advantage to score eight fast break points, including a wide-open Fisher layup that his teammates on the bench had hoped he would dunk (Blake, Brown and Barnes had hopped up in eager anticipation).
2:03 It wasn’t too early to put Bryant on triple-double watch, not after his three offensive boards on one possession (all resulting in narrowly missed layups) got him up to six rebounds alongside nine points and three assists. He nearly had that dime total up to five, but Artest missed an open corner three, and Gasol was fouled on a layup attempt after a slick between-the-legs dish from Kobe. Still, L.A. led 31-17, the game already under control. They’d push the margin to 37-21, riding a scorching hot 70 percent from the field including Gasol’s 5-for-5 field goals and 4-for-4 free throws for 14 points.
6:00 L.A.’s bench was just as good as the starters had been, outscoring the Warriors 15-7 to push the lead up to 26 at 54-28. Brown made five of his seven shots for 11 points, while Blake and Barnes scrapped all over the place on defense regardless of the score. In related news, L.A.’s pine unit has been terrific all season.
2:37 For a team with nearly a 30-point lead, and a comfortable 11-2 record coming off two straight championships, the Lakers were playing with pretty impressive late-November energy on defen. Typifying the effort was Artest, who went to the ground to try and make a steal on defense. Meanwhile, Gasol was still perfect from the field at 8-of-8 for 20 points.
9:35 The Warriors certainly didn’t need
a Monta Ellis injury heaped upon the insult of being down nearly 30 points, but it happened as Ellis landed hard on his left hip, and was forced to leave the contest. As for hoops? Nothing too new to share, other than the Lakers continuing to dominate.
6:00 OK weird. Gasol at that points was 9-for-9 from the field and 6-for-6 from the foul line for 24 points with five rebounds and four assists in 24 minutes. Last game at Minnesota, Barnes 7-for-7 from the field and 5-of-5 from the line for 24 points with seven boards and six boards in 24 minutes. Just saying.
0:00.8 Gasol put his perfect game on the line at the free throw line after drawing a foul just before the third quarter buzzer, but made both, likely concluding his game by making all 10 field goals and all eight free throws for 28 points, not to mention nine rebounds and five assists. As for the score? Yea, 95-60 Lakers.
10:45 Trying to keep the crowd engaged, Blake offered a little razzle-dazzle dribble before feeding Barnes for an open three (swish). A minute later, Blake added a triple of his own, giving each player two triples on the evening.
6:00 Just checking in to share that L.A.’s starters had long been icing their respective knees. Score: 108-79 after a Vlad-Rad three for G.S. against Phil Jackson’s line up of Brown, Vujacic, Ebanks, Walton and Caracter.
0:00 Mercifully, the game finally ended with L.A. up 117-89, the purple and gold earning a fourth straight victory to improve to 12-2 on the season.