The Lakers were in China for their first of two games against the Warriors this week. After starting the preseason with a 2-2 record, the Lakers looked to improve to 3-2. With Wes Johnson and Jordan Farmar still sitting with injuries, Ryan Kelly made his first appearance with the team as he tries to make a case for a roster spot.
Steve Nash got things started off for the Lakers with a nice reverse layup, but it was the Warriors who would jump out to an early first quarter lead on the strength of David Lee’s 13 points. Lee beat the Lakers from a few spots on the floor. The mid-range was falling and he was also getting some great looks around the rim. Andrew Bogut also contributed six points to give the starting front court 19 points in the first quarter. Kaman and Gasol held their own as well and finished the first quarter with a combined 12 points and four rebounds.
Into the second quarter, the Lakers got going. Nick Young was 3-for-3 from the field while Gasol scored 10 points. The Lakers would win the quarter and end the half with a 54-52 lead, but Lee continued to play well as he had 22 points on nine-for-11 shooting from the field. Gasol had 14 points and five rebounds at the half, while Kaman had eight and six. Steve Nash had eight points and four assists.
Nick Young and Chris Kaman got things going for the Lakers in the third quarter with both guys recording six points. Kaman finished the the third quarter shooting 8-8 on the game with 16 points. Nick Young was up to 18 points by the end of the third. On the Warriors’ end, Lee continued to impress as he was up to 28 points and five rebounds through three quarters. Steph Curry was 0-6 from three point range through three quarters, but that would change in the fourth.
With the Lakers up 80-69 going into the fourth, Klay Thompson kicked off the fourth quarter with a three-pointer, which would be a trend in the period. Curry would make his first three at the 10-minute mark, his second with just over seven minutes left to play and a third with just over six minutes left to play.
The Lakers ran with their second and third units in the fourth quarter. Darius Johnson-Odom, Ryan Kelly and Robert Sacre logged heavy minutes in the final period with Steve Blake and Xavier Henry. A lot of fourth quarter turnovers and missed defensive assignments were due in large part to the Lakers reserves playing against the Warriors starting unit.
Yet, the Lakers continued to stay competitive. A Xavier Henry floater with about four minutes left to play cut the Warriors lead to one, but the Lakers would give up another three-pointer in the ensuing possession.
The Warriors closed the game out down the stretch with their starters and win 100-95.
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