The Los Angeles Lakers began their five-game week with a bang, traveling to take on the Golden State Warriors and cruising to a 128-95 victory to improve to 2-0 since the All-Star break.
The Lakers opened up the game with a bang as LeBron James found Damian Jones for a lob, while Markieff Morris drained two of his first three 3-pointer attempts. Although James picked up two questionable fouls and Los Angeles committed five turnovers, they were able to hold onto a slim 12-11 lead.
Stephen Curry carried the Warrior offense as he was able to finish through contact in the paint, but Los Angeles did a good job limiting the rest of their team. The Laker bench was able to take advantage of some poor Warrior defense and they went into the second up 29-26.
Montrezl Harrell sparked a 7-0 run at the top of the quarter by scoring around the rim, but Nico Mannion kept Golden State close with a pair of threes. However, Harrell continued to dominate on the interior and helped give L.A. a 44-34 lead.
Curry came back into the game to help trim the Laker advantage to just six, but Harrell and the rest of the bench were able to fend them off. The Lakers turned it up on both ends in the closing minutes and despite an Andrew Wiggins 3-pointer at the buzzer, they went into the locker room with a comfortable 65-50 lead.
It was another relatively slow start to a half for the Lakers as they struggled a bit on both ends, but maintained their 15-point lead after a Kentavious Caldwell-Pope triple. Caldwell-Pope’s hot shooting continued after hitting another one from distance, putting the Lakers ahead 80-62.
Wiggins tried to inject some life into the Warriors after going on a 5-0 spurt, but Los Angeles’ defense kept them from ever capturing the momentum. The Laker bench held down the fort once again, and the Purple and Gold went into the final period leading 93-73.
Los Angeles continued to slowly increase their lead as they suffocated the Golden State offense. Meanwhile, the bench was able to get nearly anything they wanted around the basket.
James drilled a pair of threes early in the fourth quarter to effectively put the game out of reach, also putting the finishing touches on a triple-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.
In addition to James, the key force offensively was Harrell, who had one of his best games with a Laker. He finished with 27 points and five rounds on an impressive 11-of-14 shooting.
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