Kyle Kuzma Leads Comeback Effort, But Lakers Fall Short Against Warriors
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers once again remained competitive against the Golden State Warriors, but ultimately did not have anything to show for it other than a 113-106 loss. The win was the Warriors’ third against the Lakers this season but first that did not require overtime.

Unlike his last time facing L.A., Kevin Durant did not struggle from the field. He started the game 5-for-5 from the field and 6-of-6 at the free throw line before missing any sort of attempt — a 3-pointer late in the second quarter.

Durant finished the night with a game-high 33 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and four blocks. He scored 18 of those points in the first half, helping the Warriors take a commanding 61-44 lead.

Beyond struggling to contain Durant, the Lakers also failed to slow Jordan Bell. He had 10 points and eight rebounds in the first half, and went on to score 20 points while grabbing 10 boards in 25 minutes.

A big part of the Lakers keeping the game close into the second quarter was the stellar play of Lonzo Ball and Julius Randle. Ball entered the night averaging 15.5 points, 7.7 rebounds and 6.7 assists in his last four games.

He finished with 24 points, five rebounds and five assists. Ball started 4-for-4 from behind the arc and set a career high with five 3-point makes. If there was a blemish, however, the rookie point guard turned the ball over five times, often on careless outlet passes.

Meanwhile, after sitting the entire first quarter, Randle came in with good energy. He had 10 points and three rebounds, but three fouls limited him to just six minutes of action before the half.

Then when the Warriors pulled out to a 23-point lead in the second half, Kyle Kuzma led the charge to again make it a competitive game. Kuzma’s 27 points and 14 rebounds gave him a ninth double-double on the season.

That’s the most by a Lakers rookie since George Lynch had 10 in 1993-94. Additionally, Kuzma became the franchise’s rookie since Jerry West in 1961 to score a minimum of 25 points in three consecutive games.

While the Lakers at one point pulled to within one possession, the Warriors responded with a 6-0 run to take control of the game and extend their season-best winning streak to 11 games.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope struggled in his return to the court, going 4-for-16 and an abysmal 1-of-10 from 3-point territory.

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