Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 12/3

Game 1: Friday, December 3rd
Game 2: Saturday, January 15th
Game 3: Friday, January 21st
Game 4: Monday, April 18th

Warriors 101

(12-28, 3-17 away)

Lakers 105

(22-16, 15-7 home)

    Coverage: FSW

    7:30 PM ET, January 21, 2005

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    GS 24 27 26 24101
    LAL 26 26 29 24105

    Top Performers

    GS: D. Fisher 23 Pts, 2 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl

    LAL: C. Atkins 26 Pts, 4 Reb, 10 Ast, 4 Stl

    Atkins steps up with 26 points, 10 assists

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Chucky Atkins has been doing a pretty good Kobe Bryant imitation lately.

    With Bryant sidelined by a sprained right ankle, Atkins scored 26 points and had 10 assists Friday night to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 105-101 victory over Golden State.

    He's almost doubled his scoring and assists in the four games since Bryant went out, averaging 22.2 points and 7.8 assists to help the Lakers go 3-1.

    "I don't have an explanation for it. I have constantly been in attack mode," said Atkins, who has been on four teams in six NBA seasons and is in his first year with Los Angeles.

    "Every team I've been on, I have pretty much done the same things. I am just getting more minutes now."

    Atkins, who was 4-of-11 from 3-point range, has impressed Los Angeles coach Rudy Tomjanovich.

    "Chucky again was just tremendous," Tomjanovich said. "He's just become a great, great penetrator and finisher to set up his outside game.

    "His outside game has been fantastic."

    Atkins recently won over another "fan." During the Lakers' 93-90 win over Minnesota, referee Ron Garretson told the Los Angeles guard that he knew he was good, but not that good. Atkins had 25 points and 11 assists that night.

    "I didn't even know he was miked up (by ESPN)," Atkins said. "I got phone calls about it. It was funny. It's nice to have a general conversation with a ref without them screaming at you or you screaming at them."

    Two of Los Angeles' wins since Bryant was hurt have come against the Warriors, last in the Pacific Division and 3-17 on the road. The Lakers beat them 104-102 six days earlier in Oakland on Lamar Odom's driving layup with 1.3 seconds left.

    This time, Los Angeles lost most of an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter, with the Warriors closing to 101-99 on Jason Richardson's 3-pointer with 19 seconds left. But the Lakers put the game away on a free throw apiece by Atkins and Odom, and a pair by Caron Butler.

    Odom added 25 points for the Lakers.

    Richardson scored 26 for the Warriors. Derek Fisher had 23 points against his former Los Angeles teammates.

    "We are scoring enough to beat anybody, but defensively, we aren't making enough plays," Fisher said. "We are letting people score too easily and too consistently, so that's where our focus has to be."

    Fisher got his eighth start of the season because Speedy Claxton was scratched because of a bruised right thigh. Clifford Robinson also sat out the game with stiffness in his lower back.

    Golden State led 69-62 midway through the third quarter, but the Lakers rallied to an 81-77 lead and never trailed in the fourth.

    Atkins scored nine points in the final 2:25 of the first half as the Lakers reeled off a 13-5 string to come back from a 46-39 deficit and take a 52-51 lead into halftime.<

    ^Notes:@ Bryant was off crutches for the first time since spraining his ankle in the Lakers' win over Cleveland. He has had not set a deadline for his return, but asked if he might be back for the Feb. 3 game against San Antonio, Bryant said, "That will be a fun one. Hopefully, I'll have a couple of games under my belt." ... The Warriors activated F Eduardo Najera from the injured list and placed F Zarko Cabarkapa on the injured list with tendinitis in his left knee. Najera underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Jan. 7.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 101 105
    FGM-FGA 42-88 (.477) 40-82 (.488)
    3PM-3PA 11-27 (.407) 13-30 (.433)
    FTM-FTA 6-12 (.500) 12-19 (.632)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-40 15-46
    Assists 25 28
    Turnovers 10 16
    Steals 10 5
    Blocks 4 6
    Fast Break Points 8 9
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 18 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 7 11

    Top Performers

    Golden State
    Los Angeles
    Derek Fisher Fisher
    Points: 23
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Chucky Atkins Atkins
    Points: 26
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 10
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 0