Rapid Reaction: Warriors 102, Lakers 83

December, 21, 2013
12/21/13
10:19
PM PT
McMenamin By Dave McMenamin
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Mike D'Antoni said he had a hunch the Los Angeles Lakers would come out and be OK in their first game since Kobe Bryant's latest injury, a fracture in his left knee.

His instincts were correct as L.A. took care of Minnesota at home on Friday. But D'Antoni wasn't so sure after that.

"It’s easy to do it one night," D'Antoni said before the Lakers played the Golden State Warriors on Saturday. "Can you do it two nights? Can you do it three? We’ll see."

Turns out the Lakers couldn't do it two nights in a row, falling in Golden State on the second night of a back-to-back Saturday.

It was eerily similar to their second game of the season when L.A. was also without Bryant and Steve Nash and got its doors blown off on the road against the Warriors on the tail end of a home-road double dip.

Only this time around, the Lakers were also missing Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar and Pau Gasol, out for the night with an upper respiratory infection.

Have the Lakers made strides since then? Sure. Cast-offs like Xavier Henry, Jodie Meeks, Wesley Johnson, Nick Young and Jordan Hill have developed into consistent contributors.

The team chemistry continues to be a strong suit, too, a refreshing development after the dark cloud that seemed to hang over the locker room all of last year.

But in the rough-and-tumble Western Conference, the Lakers can't afford to go on a slide while they wait for their troops to return if they expect to make good on D'Antoni's claim that they can still make the playoffs.

How it happened: Hill scored all 14 of his points in the first half to keep L.A. in it, down just four headed into the locker room.

Then the third quarter happened.

The Lakers shot just 3-for-21 as a team in the quarter, seeing the Warriors' lead balloon to 15 headed into the fourth. It got uglier from there as Golden State pushed its cushion to as many as 24 in the final frame.

What it means: The Lakers can only plug so many holes when they spring a leak. L.A. has done an admirable job of making up for all its lost pieces, but at some point it becomes too much.

Hits: Chris Kaman had 10 points and 17 rebounds filling in for Gasol in the starting lineup (he shot just 5-for-17 though).

Nick Young scored 20 points, his 13th straight game scoring in double digits off the bench (he shot just 5-for-18 though).

Misses: A night after coughing up 19 turnovers, L.A. had 24 turnovers against the Warriors leading to 28 points for Golden State.

Kendall Marshall made his Lakers debut and he would surely rather have a do-over after coughing up four turnovers in six minutes of play. At least he hit a 3-pointer.

Marreese Speights was ejected after receiving a flagrant-2 foul for wrapping up Young around his neck from behind early on in the fourth quarter.

Stat of the game: 32.5. That was L.A.'s paltry shooting percentage as the team scored a season-low 83 points. The Lakers were even worse from 3, shooting 20 percent (4-for-20).

Up next: The Lakers have an off day Sunday before traveling to Phoenix to play the Suns on Monday. Then it's back to L.A. for a showdown with the Miami Heat on Christmas Day.

Dave McMenamin

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Nick Young
PTS AST STL MIN
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 9.7
AssistsK. Marshall 8.8
StealsJ. Meeks 1.4
BlocksP. Gasol 1.5