The Los Angeles Lakers have their work cut out for them tonight, as they try to be the first team to defeat the 15-0 Golden State Warriors this season. The defending champion Warriors have been undoubtedly the best basketball team in the NBA this season, while the Lakers have the second worst record in the league.
With a win tonight, the Warriors will set the record for the best start by a team in NBA history with 16 straight wins. The Lakers would love to be the team that snaps their momentum, and a Laker victory would be a huge confidence boost.
The Warriors won the tip and Stephen Curry assisted a Draymond Green three-pointer. Two minutes into the game the Lakers finally got on the board with a Kobe Bryant free-throw, after drawing the foul on Harrison Barnes. The first Laker field goal of the game came on the ensuing possession when D’Angelo Russell made a pull-up jumper from the elbow. With the game tied at 5 apiece, the Lakers somehow lost track of Steph Curry in the corner where he drilled a three. After a Kobe missed field goal, the Warriors pushed the ball in transition and found Barnes in the same exact corner, where he knocked down his three ball. The game started to get out of hand with 5:27 remaining, when Barnes hit another three that put the Warriors up 16-7. The Lakers struggled to put the ball in the hoop, and on the other end Curry danced right down the middle of the lane for a left-handed finger roll. Larry Nance Jr. ended the Lakers five minute scoring drought with a dunk, but the Lakers still trailed by 14 with 2:30 left in the first. The Warriors ended the first quarter with a 22-4 run and The Lakers trailed 30-11.
The Warriors continued to dominate in the second quarter, getting uncontested layups as the Lakers took contested jumpers. Kobe airballed a three-pointer, and then proceeded to take two more threes on the following possessions, one of which he actually made. On the other end, the Lakers left Leandro Barbosa open for a three and he capitalized, putting the Warriors up by 21 with nine minutes remaining in the half. Out of a timeout, Luke Walton designed an alley-oop play that Festus Ezeli converted off of Andre Iguodala’s pass. On the Warriors following possession, Kobe stripped the ball away from Maurice Speights and Lou Williams finished the fast break with a layup. The Warriors scored with ease with another alley-oops, but Lou Williams’ hot shooting prevented the score from getting too out of hand before the half. As the Warriors continued to score, the Lakers continued to run their offense through Williams. Curry hit a free-throw line jumper to increase the lead to 21 points against with 2:31 remaining in the half. After the Lakers struggled offensively for a few minutes, Julius Randle made a nice step back over Draymond Green from the free-throw line. On the last possession of the quarter, Brandon Bass tipped in Kobe’s missed layup, and the Warriors led 54-38.
The Warriors started the half with back-to-back alley-oops after the Lakers failed to score on the opening possessions. Jordan Clarkson made a nice move into the key with Curry on his back and converted the layup in traffic. Amazingly the Lakers lost track of Curry in the corner again, who hit another three to increase the Warriors lead to 19. The Lakers struggled to take good shots and the Warriors got fast break layups as a result of that. The Warriors began to toy with the Lakers and extended their lead to 27 points with 4:07 remaining in the quarter. After the Lakers trailed by 30, Nick Young nailed a three to cut the lead down to 27, but Klay Thompson answered with a three of his own to push it back to 30 points. Steph Curry rubbed salt in the wound and scored with ease to close out the quarter, putting the Warriors up 89-55 at the end of the third.
Marcelo Huertas and Tarik Black made their first appearances and each made a basket early in the quarter for the Lakers. The rout would continue however, even with the Warriors. Nance hit back-to-back jumpers, but was matched by Ezili on the other end as the Warriors pushed the lead out to 101-63. The young bigs for the Lakers continued to play hard as Black and Nance got buckets. Ryan Kelly made an appearance midway through the quarter for the first time in seven games. Turnovers and open shots for the Warriors continued to be the case down the stretch as both teams had the end of their benches in. One last basket by Huertas gave the final score as the Golden State Warriors broke an NBA record by starting the season 16-0 after their 111-77 win over the Lakers.