ORACLE ARENA — In the early part of the season, the Warriors have proved they’re a good team. But they’re not all the way there — yet.
Kobe Bryant wasn’t at his best but it was still better than most players on a good night. Bryant shot 16-of-41 from the field scoring a game high 34 points as the Lakers outlasted the Warriors 118-115 in overtime.
Bryant said after the game:
Post-Game Audio: Lakers Guard Kobe Bryanthttp://sfbay.ca/home/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/12-22-Kobe-Bryant.mp3|titles=Kobe
“We played hard. … Dwight, Pau, and I each had 4-5 fouls at the time. We weren’t playing particularly well. I wasn’t shooting the ball well and when you’re met with a challenge you have to go harder and that’s exactly what we did.”
In his first game back after a left leg fracture, point guard Steve Nash had 12 points and nine assists:
Post-Game Audio: Lakers Guard Steve Nashhttp://sfbay.ca/home/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/12-22-Steve-Nash.mp3|titles=Steve
“We’ve got a long way to go before we’re a good team but as far as the pressure on me goes I don’t look at this as I’m the savior. Our team is still trying to form and hopefully I can help that process but if we become a great team it’s not down to me and if we don’t, it’s not down to me either.”
In the loss, Jarrett Jack scored a season-high 29 points off the bench. David Lee had 20 points and 11 rebounds, with Stephen Curry adding 20 points, seven assists and eight rebounds.
Post-Game Audio: Warriors Guard Stephen Curryhttp://sfbay.ca/home/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/12-22-Stephen-Curry.mp3|titles=Stephen
Golden State played inspired basketball coming off a win over the Charlotte Bobcats the previous night. So the Warriors had to be somewhat fatigued, especially since the Lakers had been resting since Tuesday and enjoying Friday night off in San Francisco.
Both teams had six players score in double figures. The Warriors built up a 14-point lead early in the 4th quarter. But down the stretch, the talented Lakers roster with the return of Nash was just too much for Golden State to overcome.
Off the bench, the trio of Jordan Hill, Metta World Peace, and Jodie Meeks combined to score 46 points and grab 20 rebounds.
Trailing 90-76, LA went on a 19-5 run to tie the game. It was a back-and-forth contest after that. World Peace made a step back 3-pointer with 24 seconds left.
Jack hit a mid range pull up jumper that tied the contest with 14.9 seconds remaining, but was disappointed the Warriors couldn’t finish off the Lakers:
Post-Game Audio: Warriors Guard Jarrett Jackhttp://sfbay.ca/home/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/12-22-Jarrett-Jack.mp3|titles=Jarrett
“We’re definitely not a team into moral victories. We come out feel like we can win every game when we step in between those lines. We just learned that when you mess around and allow a team such as them who have tremendous firepower and obviously they’re not at their best yet.”
Los Angeles had the ball for the final possession and the ball was fed to Bryant. His baseline jumper clanged off the rim forcing overtime.
In the extra session, the Lakers dominated the paint, outscoring the Warriors 4-0. Curry missed a tough 3-pointer, and Klay Thompson’s reverse lay up attempt was just short. Despite another Curry triple with 33.8 seconds left, that’s as close as the Warriors would get. Nash’s 14-foot fade away jumper ensured the victory and the final margin of victory.
Dwight Howard said after the game the Lakers need to just keep improving:
“We’re professional athletes and (fans) expect nothing but our ‘A’ games every night and for us to be in tip-top shape every time they see us on the floor. … We understand that but also understand that it’s a process.”
The Warriors fall to 1-2 in overtime, with their last loss — before Saturday night — coming in double overtime vs. Denver on November 10. … Golden State is 5-3 in the second game of a back-to-back. … David Lee tallied his league-leading 12th 20-point, 10-rebound game. … Kobe Bryant scored a Warriors’ opponent high of 34 points. Bryant is the first player to attempt 40 shots since he attempted 44 shots on January 14, 2008. It’s the ninth time Kobe has attempted 40 or more shots in his career.