Lakers Preseason: Defense Regresses As Lakers Fall To Warriors

After a solid showing in their first preseason game of the year, the Lakers looked to build on their performance tonight against ‘The Splash Brothers’ Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, and the Golden State Warriors.

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Head coach Byron Scott decided to rest point guard Steve Nash for the game, giving Jeremy Lin the start. Camp standout Ronnie Price is also likely to see a lot of minutes in Nash’s absence. The Warriors also won their first preseason game, defeating the Los Angeles Clippers 112-94.

First Quarter

Klay Thompson didn’t take long to get going as he hit two early threes. Kobe hit a fadeaway jumper but a David Lee midrange shot gave the Warriors an early 10-4 lead. Jeremy Lin hit the first deep ball for the Lakers, but was matched on the other end by Andre Igoudala. A David Lee layup pushed the Warriors lead to 19-8. The offense struggled to convert down low over the Warriors defense and the Lakers’ deficit widened to 12 points after two Thompson free throws. Back-to-back steals from Kobe led to a dunk and Jeremy Lin layup as the Lakers cut the lead back to single digits. Ed Davis with a rebound and layup as the Lakers trailed 35-27 after the first.

Second Quarter

The teams traded baskets to start the quarter with Brandon Rush knocking a couple down for the Warriors but a Ronnie Price jumper cut the Warriors lead to six. Davis remained extremely active on the boards, keeping multiple possessions alive, but the Warriors shooting began heating up again as a Steph Curry three put the Warriors back up by 10. The Lakers continued to struggle to contain the guards of the Warriors as Curry and Thompson continued to dominate and give the Warriors a 12 point lead as the half began to wind down. Another Thompson three and an Igoudala dunk pushed the Warriors lead to 18 at the half.

Third Quarter

Jordan Hill started the quarter off with a bang as he hit a jumper and followed it up with a block on the other end. A tip-in of a Kobe miss gave Hill four quick points, but the defense continued to struggle with the guards of the Warriors. The Lakers starters chipped away at the lead with Kobe, Boozer, and Lin all making plays to get the lead down to 12. The teams traded baskets as the passing of the Warriors led to numerous easy baskets but Boozer and Wes Johnson matched them at every end. The Warriors would get hot again as Thompson and Curry easily pushed the lead back up to 18. Things only got worse for the Lakers as Golden State pushed the lead to as high as 23. A late basket by Lin cut the lead to 96-75 at the end of the third.

Fourth Quarter

Ed Davis continued his strong game with a short jumper to start the fourth. The Warriors continued to get to the basket almost at will, but the Lakers were able to get the lead under 20 points. The three-pointers continued to sink the Lakers as the Warriors got open looks all over the court. Despite some solid plays by Wayne Ellington and Julius Randle, the Lakers still trailed by 23 midway through the quarter. In the end the Lakers simply weren’t able to keep up with the offense of the Warriors as they suffered their first loss of the preseason 120-105.

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