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We took a look at the Lakers handling of the Warriors while it was happening, entering a thought or three each quarter. Here’s the running diary:
Lakers: Luke Walton
Warriors: Andris Biedrins, Raja Bell
Lakers: Fisher, Bryant, Artest, Gasol and Bynum
Warriors: Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, Corey Maggette, Vladimir Radmanovic and Mikki Moore
Phil Jackson Pregame
The all-time leader in coaching win percentage talked about the importance of getting out on Golden State’s shooters, containing their fast break opportunities and getting the ball inside to his big men (a solid general recipe for NBA success). Jackson explained that the Warriors can make it tough on defenses with four or sometimes five players that can all start a fastbreak.
9:02 So far, so good for L.A.’s game plan: Gasol’s one-handed dunk followed two short hooks he converted easily over the much smaller Vlad-Rad, sandwiched around Bynum’s quick turnaround over Mikki Moore. That gave L.A. a 14-7 edge on 6-of-8 shooting, including Fisher’s corner two and Artest’s wide-open three. L.A. is reminding me of how I used to play when I worked at a daycare center for elementary school kids in high school.
5:21 Bryant went to the bench with two personals (plus his fifth tech of the season), bringing both Shannon Brown and Lamar Odom into the contest. With Golden State hanging around but L.A. in control, I wonder which Laker would have the best chance of swimming off Alcatraz. Hmmm. I’m going with Gasol (long, slender body, perfect technique) but am open to other ideas*.
*One twitter responder suggested that Shannon Brown couuld simply jump to the other side. Fair point.
0:10.6 Artest sank a 14-foot turnaround to give L.A. its biggest lead, 36-22, to end the quarter. Ron Ron was impressive with seven points, three assists and two boards, while Odom came off the bench to finish the quarter +11 behind five points and two boards. Shannon Brown added five points (including 3-of-4 free throws) to give L.A. the bench boost it had been asking for. Then Kobe returned to start the second, which isn’t always the best news for opposing teams.
9:31 Brown got loose again! Oops. After receiving a pretty outlet pass from Odom, Go Go Gadget Calf Muscles went up for his (now patented) one-hand sky dunk, nearly violating Oakland air traffic control rules.
5:44 Growing up in North Carolina, Anthony Morrow of course idolized Michael Jordan … but Jordan was on the tail end of his career, and Morrow became a huge Kobe fan. Fast forward to today, and Morrow’s guarding Kobe. The league’s leading three-point shooter as an undrafted free agent rookie last year, Morrow’s at it again (54.4 percent), and dropped in a transition three over Kobe to make it 47-35 L.A. Of course, Kobe took him down to the post immediately, spun and converted plus the harm.
0:03.5 Maggette hit 1-of-2 free throws to cap a 5-0 Warriors run, all from the charity stripe, that got Golden State within 10 points at 60-50.
7:06 Four straight points from Fisher and his dish to Artest for a transition layup put L.A. up 78-62. Fisher got to 11 points on the buckets, meaning the only Laker not in double figures at that point was Kobe Bryant, who had nine points on 3-of-10 shooting. That doesn’t happen often, but the scoring balance was something L.A.’s coaches had to enjoy.
3:13 Offensive efficiency hasn’t always been a Ron Artest staple (career 42 percent shooter), but he’s starting to heat up this season, particularly tonight. After his second three-pointer swished through, Artest scored in transition to get to 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting and put L.A. up 89-68.
0:24.0 Odom stuck his second three to put L.A. up 23 heading into the fourth quarter, a lead on the strong side of commanding. Meanwhile, speaking of efficiency, how about Gasol? He’d made 9-of-10 field goals and 4-of-5 free throws to reach 22 points, plus 11 rebounds, three assists and three blocks. He was doing about as well through three quarters as “Twilight: New Moon” did on opening weekend.
5:04 If Brown didn’t violate air space on his first huge dunk, he definitely put the Air Force on alert with his “Maybe-I’ll-put-it-on-my-hip-then-windmill-it” jam. Yikes. Lakers 113, Warriors 83.
4:07 Sasha Vujacic, in his first appearance of the game, swished a three thanks to Farmar’s drive and dish. Even in garbage time, the tape is always rolling and coaches always watching as guys like Vujacic try to argue their case for more playing time. Lakers by Scottie Pippen’s jersey number.
0:04.5 For good measure, Brown swished a 28-foot three to put the Lakers up 33 points for a final score of 130-97. Very impressive all-around effort from L.A., who had seven players in double-figures and never trailed throughout the contest.
0 Times Golden State led. L.A.’s biggest lead was 34.
5 Straight double-digit wins for the Lakers.
7 Lakers in double figures, led by Pau Gasol (22), Kobe Bryant (20), Ron Artest (19), Andrew Bynum (12), Derek Fisher (13), Shannon Brown (17) and Jordan Farmar (10).
75 Combined number of steals for Monta Ellis and Bryant entering Saturday’s game, Ellis second and Bryant third in the NBA on average. Bryant notched five thefts in this one, while Ellis managed just one.
109.3 Warriors scoring average heading into the contest. They finished about 12 points below that average, shooting only 39.1 percent.