LA Lakers pull off surprising 112-95 win over Warriors

first_imgThe star point guard dazzled on the court with an endless flurry of 3-pointers and nifty passes. His team forced turnovers and pushed the pace toward easy baskets. And its opponent appeared dazed as it slogged up the court.It sounded like just what anyone would expect between the Western Conference’s worst (Lakers) and the Western Conference’s best (Golden State Warriors). Except it wasn’t The Lakers secured a surprising 112-95 victory over the Warriors on Sunday at Staples Center by doing something they could not pull off in their previous three regular-season games. Then, the Lakers lost by an average of 24.3 points.“Our guys played about as hard as they played all season long,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “It was the best game we played against the best team.” “Bigs tend to be lazy defensively, especially in transition because it’s hard for bigs to run the floor and get into the paint,” Bryant said. “The problem is you’re coming back and protecting the paint and Draymond Green is pushing the ball. So now you’re back in the paint. But all of a sudden, boom, here comes a dribble handoff with Steph and there’s nobody there.”The Lakers did not need to worry about that from happening. Instead, the Lakers (13-51) played like a championship contender while the Warriors (55-6) played like a lottery team. The Lakers forced 17 turnovers, while posting 46 points in the paint. Seven players cracked double digits in scoring, including Clarkson, Russell, Bryant, Brandon Bass (13 points), Nick Young (13 points), Julius Randle (12 points, 14 rebounds) and Marcelo Huertas (career-high 10 points and nine assists). Scott called Huertas the game’s “MVP.” Perhaps the 12:30 p.m. start against an inferior opponent lulled the NBA defending champions into complacency. Perhaps the Lakers responded to Scott’s pre-game speech where he was “almost challenging their manhood.”“Every now and then, you’re probably going to have a little complacency,” said Scott, reflecting on his time with the Showtime Lakers. “One thing that you always want to try to guard against when you’re playing lesser opponents, you don’t want to have that letdown. But it might create another run for them.”Russell feared that run would happen any moment until Warriors coach Steve Kerr yanked his starters with 4:37 left. Scott reported only feeling comfortable until the final minute. But before then, the Lakers offered hope for their future. “For the young guys, it’s extremely important to see the results,” Bryant said. “When you pay attention to little details, good things happen. As they grow, they start trusting that more and more.” Despite the concern on last year’s NBA regular-season MVP, Lakers rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell had enough ice in his veins to top Warriors guard Stephen Curry in points (21-18), shooting clip (6 of 14, 6 of 20), 3-pointers (3 of 7, 1 of 10) and assists (5-4). Russell also added a career-high four steals. “When you first come into the league, you’re fans of people, As the season goes on, they become just another player,” Russell said. “He’s just another player out there for me.”Even if he nursed a strained tendon in his left knee that sidelined him for a game, Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson beat Warriors guard Klay Thompson in points (25-15), shooting clip (10 of 21, 7 of 20) and 3-pointers (4 of 6, 0 of 8). “If you want to get measured or get talked about being a young backcourt that has a chance to be very good, then you’ve got to measure up against these two guys,” Scott said. “I thought they took the challenge.” And despite posting 12 points on 4-of-14 shooting in 25 minutes while nursing a sore right shoulder, Kobe Bryant contributed in his last game against Golden State by providing endless tips from the bench. Bryant reported adding pointed feedback to the Lakers’ post players. center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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