The Los Angeles Lakers were able to do the seemingly impossible on Sunday afternoon. Only five teams in the NBA have been able to get the best of the Golden State Warriors this season, and now the Lakers have joined the club beating the defending NBA champions at the Staples Center.
Following a dominant performance by the Lakers, head coach Byron Scott praised his two rising stars in the backcourt. Scott believes Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell were up for the challenge of facing arguably the best backcourt in basketball:
“First of all, I think they took the challenge,” after an impressive win over the Warriors. “They were playing against the best backcourt in the league. If you want to get measured or get talked about as a young backcourt that has a chance to be very good, you have to measure up against these two guys. I thought they took the challenge from the start.”
Clarkson and Russell combined for 46 points in the win over the Warriors, outscoring the backcourt duo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, who combined for 33 points. Clarkson led the way with a game-high 25 points while Russell chipped in with 21 points, five assists, and four steals.
Curry averaged an NBA-best 30.7 points per game coming into this game against the Lakers but struggled all night long going 6-for-20 from the floor and an uncharacteristic 1-for-10 from beyond the arc. Thompson was even worse from three-point range missing all eight attempts on Sunday. The sharpshooter finished with 15 points on 7-of-20 shooting.
Although Clarkson and Russell played well, Marcelo Huertas may have stolen the show. Huertas dished out a career-high nine assists in 27 minutes off the bench. Scott also credited Huertas for his performance calling him the MVP of tonight’s game.
The Lakers will hope to keep up the momentum from beating the league’s elite on Tuesday with the team hosting the Orlando Magic in Los Angeles.