Warriors cruise past Lakers for holiday sweep
Coming off a 40-point trouncing of the Lakers Wednesday at Oracle, the Golden State Warriors again dominated Los Angeles Friday night at Staples, gliding to an easy 109-85 win in the instant rematch.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, slightly sarcastically, called his Warriors’ 10th-straight win:
“… one of the worst basketball games I’ve ever seen in my life.”
“We were awful and they were awful. The people who bought tickets should get their money back, honestly. … I don’t know, everyone had too much turkey last night. Neither team practiced, they were without half their team … at least they had an excuse.”
Golden State improved to 14-2, but not without some scary moments.
The Warriors took an early lead when Curry hit a triple just over 5 minutes into the game to put Golden State up 13-12. Durant scored a triple shortly after to put Golden State up 16-12 and the Lakers called a timeout.
Curry and Ian Clark both hit 3-pointers to give the Warriors a buffer and a 30-20 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Lakers tried to close in near the end of the second quarter. Jordan Clarkson hit a triple with around 4:30 left to cut the Warriors lead to 43-39.
Stopping the Lakers’ momentum a bit, Draymond Green picked up a foul and made both at the line.
Then came the play that brought the purple and gold crowd alive – Curry stole the ball but missed a slam dunk. Durant tried to catch a pass but Clarkson intercepted, bringing Lakers fans to their feet again.
But the Lakers failed to capitalize on the break. Timofey Mozgov missed a layup and the Lakers sputtered to a 53-43 halftime deficit.
Golden State opened up the game in the third quarter.
Green made a three-pointer to put Golden State up 64-47. Then the Warriors served the Lakers a couple of slam dunks – Curry sailing easily over Jose Calderon, and Green’s dunk gave them a 68-50 lead.
Golden State had extended their lead to a comfortable 20 with just under 5 minutes remaining in the third when Clark came down hard in a heap with Green attempting to get a rebound. Both walked off the court.
Lakers fans started leaving Staples Center around the two-minute mark in the third, as many have become accustomed to doing when their team faces an impossible comeback.
Klay Thompson said:
“They were missing three key guys so that didn’t help them, but I thought we didn’t let that affect us.”
Asked if the win was easy – unlike the matchup between the teams earlier this month that Kerr called “our annual beat down at Staples Center” – Curry said he doesn’t think about it like that:
“It’s obviously nice to get a win, but we can play a lot better, so after tomorrow we have to try to get back to get a win against a good Minnesota team. … We’re a better team since the last time we stepped foot in this building.”
Durant led the Warriors with 29 points on 11-for-19 shooting. He diverged from Kerr’s assessment, saying the team played well defensively but could have done a better job on offense:
“It’s not like we are going out there with no sense of urgency or not locked in, but we have games like that where it is kind of sloppy but then towards the end of the game, we execute it. … The one play we ran, we got two lay-ups off of it, towards the end.”
The Warriors return to Oracle Arena for five home games starting with the Minnesota Timberwolves Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Green said he plans on playing Saturday despite rolling his ankle:
“If I just can’t go and it’s hurting that bad, then I’ll sit down.”