Warriors crush listless Lakers in opener
ORACLE ARENA — Klay Thompson knew he was on fire before the game even started.
Once the ball tipped, Thompson let loose on the Lakers, leading the Golden State Warriors to a season-opening, wire-to-wire, 125-94 blowout win:
“I knew during the pre-game. I was hitting everything. When you have days like that, you just know its going to carry over on the court.”
Andre Iguodala addressed the crowd before the game, thanking the fans for being the best in the league. He finished off saying:
“Lets get it.”
And get it they did.
Led by a career-high 38 points from Thompson, along with 24 points and 8 rebounds from David Lee, the Warriors scored first and never trailed, increasing their lead throughout the game to as much as 35.
Jodie Meeks and Xavier Henry led the Lakers — who shot just 39.3 percent on the night — with 14 points a piece.
Warriors coach Mark Jackson said he was just as impressed with the team’s defense as with Thompson’s performance:
“The ball went up and they were ready and prepared. It was a thing of beauty from beginning to end.”
Thompson had as many points — 16 — as the entire Lakers team combined at the end of the first quarter on 6-of-8 shooting including four from downtown.
Coming out of a time out with just under five minutes left in the first half, Lee hit a jumper to give the Warriors a 20-point lead.
With 2:03 left in the first half, Thompson hit his fifth three-pointer to put the Warriors up 55-32. Stephen Curry said getting the win was important but watching Thompson light up the scoreboard was amazing:
“The way he started out the first six minutes, you knew it was going to be one of those nights. …He definitely made them pay for some of the matchups.”
The Warriors came out swinging even harder after halftime. Four minutes into the third frame Curry faked a three, dishing to Lee for the easy lay in. Then, on the next possession, Bogut stole the ball and finished with a two-handed slam.
The sellout crowd of 19,596 was sent into a frenzy with 4:55 left in the third frame as Iguodala led a fast break, sending a no-look behind the back pass to Lee who touch-passed back to Iguodala for a flawless finish.
Thompson left the game with 13 seconds left in the third quarter to a standing ovation as the big screen flashed his new career high.
Fourth quarter garbage time featured mostly Warriors reserves, but wasn’t without its highlights. Toney Douglas, Kent Bazemore and Marreese Speights all hit from beyond the arc.
Golden State rookies Nemanja Nedovic and Ognjen Kuzmic even saw minutes in the final frame. Kuzmic scored his first NBA points by slamming home a the dish from Kent Bazemore midway through the quarter.
Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said playing back-to-back games had nothing to do with the Lakers losing the way they did:
“There’s more to it. We have a lot of learning still to do. …Give Golden State credit, Klay Thompson just lit us up.”
While the Warriors have started the season the way they wanted, the 82-game season is a long and grueling road. Iguodala put things into perspective telling SFBay doing well at home is one thing, it’s what happens away from home that makes the difference:
“You’ve got to take care of business on the road. Energy gets you wins at home but its how you do on the road that allows you to compete against the top tier teams.”
The Warriors head to Los Angeles to play the Clippers Thursday night before returning to Oracle to face the Kings Saturday.
Golden State won by a 31-point margin, their largest season-opening win in franchise history. The Warriors outshot (53.5 percent to 39.3 percent), out rebounded (41-39) and outassisted (34-19) the Lakers, the first time they’ve done so in more than two years. …The Lakers finished with seven players in double figures, outscoring the Warriors’ bench 52-44. Klay Thompson’s 38 points made him just the sixth Warrior in the West Coast Era to score 38 or more points in a season opener.