The Lakers kicked off the 2012 Summer League in Las Vegas on Friday night against the Golden State Warriors. The Summer League is generally a place for team’s to showcase their younger talent and see which players might make the official roster once training camp rolls around. The Lakers opened the week against an upstart Warriors team that featured recent lottery pick Harrison Barnes.
There were several crucial differences in the Summer League rules compared to regular NBA games, including a 10 minute quarter rather than 12, two minute overtime periods, and players have 10 personal fouls before they officially foul out.
Things didn’t start too well for Los Angeles, as the Warriors jumped to a 6-0 lead behind Barnes and Klay Thompson. Los Angeles finally got on the board thanks to Andrew Goudelock, who dropped in a long-awaited floater to get things started. The highlights were few and far between for L.A. in the first half, though, as the Warriors jumped to a big lead early.
In the first 10 minutes the Lakers got three points from Christian Eyenga and two more from rookie Robert Sacre of Gonzaga. The leading scorer was Goudelock, who scored six of the team’s 12 first quarter points. Golden State was led by Barnes, who led all scorers with 10 points. At the end of the first quarter the Warriors led the Lakers 24-12.
Things didn’t get much better for the Lakers in the second quarter, as their 12-point deficit turned into 14 by halftime. The Warriors did manage to push their lead to 18 midway through the quarter, behind Klay Thompson and Barnes. The Lakers shot just 25.8 percent in the first half, but did manage to out-rebound the Warriors 7-3 in the first 20 minutes.
The team also got decent minutes out of Ater Majok, who was a second round pick of the Lakers in 2011. Still, the 53.3 percent shooting of the Warriors didn’t help much, as the Lakers struggled on defense throughout the majority of the first half. At halftime the Warriors led the Lakers 40-26.
The halftime pep talk sure didn’t do much to get the Lakers motivated, as their first possession of the third quarter ended up being a turnover that led to a Golden State basket. The Lakers offense continued to struggle, as each shot seemed less accurate than the last. There were several good plays from Darius Morris, however, who will be entering his second year with the Lakers out of Michigan. Morris made several nice attempts to get into the lane and create shots for his teammates, something the rest of the team sorely needed.
Golden State continued to run the young Lakers out of the building for the duration of the third. The rather modest 14-point deficit ballooned to over 30. The Lakers shot just 26.1 percent through three quarters, and were trailing the Warriors 68-36 at the end of the third.
With the game all but decided heading into the fourth, it was just a matter of running out the clock for the Warriors and Lakers. Los Angeles had plenty to work on following their loss in the opener, but the most pressing is their shot percentage. The team shot less than 35 percent from the field for the game, a dismal number that must improve moving forward. While Summer League is considered a week of exhibition games, these are still a group of players looking to have a chance at making the official roster.
When it was all said and done the Warriors defeated the Lakers soundly. The young L.A. squad had plenty of film to watch and improve upon before their game with the Sacramento Kings. In the end it was the Warriors defeating the Lakers by a handy margin, 91-50.