Lakers 105, Warriors 102: Preseason in Ontario

62092703Below is a running diary of L.A.’s preseason contest against Golden State from Ontario, with some comments drawn from our @LakersReporter Twitter account, and a few more details in case you missed any of the action:

Lakers: Fisher, Brown*, Bryant, Artest and Gasol
Warriors: Monta Ellis, Reggie Williams**, Vladimir Radmanovic, David Lee and Andris Biedrins
*Brown started in place of Lamar Odom, taking the night off to rest a sprained left thumb, swollen nose and stiff back. Odom did say that he’d be “fine” for Tuesday’s season opener.
**Williams started in place of Stephen Curry, who sprained his ankle in Thursday night’s loss to L.A.

10:31 The Lakers forced Golden State into four fouls … in the first 1:30 … but the Warriors earned a 7-4 lead thanks to jumpers at the other end from Monta Ellis and Reggie Williams, plus a pretty transition layup also from Ellis. Though he had two of those fouls, we shouldn’t be surprised to see a big evening from Ellis, since he barely played the evening before (three fouls in the first two minutes) and would be without Curry in the backcourt.

621213817:02 With Odom out and Brown in the starting line up, Bryant moved up to the three and Artest the four, meaning Artest matched up with G.S. power forward David Lee. That proved a difficult matchup for Lee, often quick enough to get open looks again opposing fours, but certainly not Artest, who stripped him twice and also was too strong to allow a back-in. Fortunately for the Warriors, however, L.A. had no answer for Ellis, who nailed two more field goals to help G.S. to a 15-6 lead.

3:22 Easing his way in offensively and looking a bit sluggish, Bryant’s first make came from three-point territory, just L.A.’s third field goal plus eight free throws, to make it 23-18 Warriors. In the final three minutes, Ellis would climb up to 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting in a video-game first quarter, leading the Bay Area squad to a 32-20 lead. The Lakers shot only 35.7 percent to Ellis’s, err, Golden State’s, 65 percent, and turned the ball over seven times to two for G.S.

7:31 L.A.’s bench unit was doing its best to cut into the Warriors lead, with Devin Ebanks converting a pretty transition layup, but Ellis answered with his ninth field goal, then drew a foul in transition to make it 40-27. Rookie Derrick Caracter saw his first action in three games, scoring a bucket with a board in six minutes, though Luke Walton, just back from a hamstring strain, left the floor and headed to the locker room.

3:00 With the starters back in, L.A. still struggled to get things going, the Warriors maintaining a double-digit lead while the Lakers stayed in the low 30′s in field goal percentage. Not exactly regular-season form yet for a team looking like it just wanted the preseason to end.

0:51.5 The last two minutes were better, however, thanks to Bryant, who made two jumpers himself, and assisted on three-pointers from both Brown and Fisher to cut Golden State’s lead to five. Ellis, brilliant offensively all half, managed to get the last laugh of the half as well by converting a tough drive, preceding Bryant’s rim-out at the buzzer. As such, Ellis had 27 points on 12-of-15 shooting, giving his team a 52-47 lead.

7:15 L.A.’s typically strong defense to open the second half was absent here, Golden State taking advantage to open a 59-45 lead after a 7-0 run. The Lakers did respond with Gasol’s back-to-back and-1′s at the rim, while Brian Shaw replaced Brown with Barnes to get a bit bigger on the wing.

620930894:30 Bryant quietly climbed up to 16 points after a deep three, preceding a Barnes transition layup that cut G.S.’s lead to five. Ellis countered with two free throws to reach 33 points, but Bryant then drew three defenders to earn Fisher a wide-open three (swish) that doubled as Bryant’s sixth assist. The moments of typical Kobe play continued to show, though he was obviously still building towards putting a full game together.

0:09.6 Despite that mid-quarter push, the Warriors still managed to leave the period with a 10-point lead, thanks to another Ellis jumper plus Brandan Wright’s put-back dunk to close the scoring. Ellis was up to a ridiculously efficient 15-of-20 performance from the field for 36 points. The Lakers seemed a bit unsure how to play up front without both Andrew Bynum and Odom, who had missed only nine games combined in the previous three seasons, but would get L.O. back on Tuesday.

9:45 A pretty put-back dunk from Ebanks, then Vujacic’s steal and jumper at the other end cut Golden State’s lead down to just four, the closest L.A. had been since early in the first. The reserves had been the Lakers’ better unit throughout the preseason, so it was fitting to see once again in the camp finale.

7:17 Impressive bench play continued for L.A. with Caracter hitting from four feet, Ebanks drawing a charge and Vujacic converting two free throws, Artest ripping a steal and Caracter stuffing back an Ebanks miss to promptly put the Lakers up 87-85. It was a 16-3 run, producing the first Lakers lead of the game.

3:43 Fisher and Brown replaced Blake and Vujacic as Shaw put all of the starters back in, but Brown promptly found his pocket picked by Ellis, and Fisher had to foul at midcourt to prevent a layup. Ellis, in the bonus, sunk both to put Golden State back up three, reaching an NBA preseason high 41 points in the process.

0:30.1 LA picked a good time for a 9-0 run, as Bryant took over in typical fashion to score six straight points (four free throws and a layup) before dishing to a wide-open Brown in the corner for a game-tying three. Bryant couldn’t quite close the door, however, missing a potential game-winning triple as the clock expired, meaning preseason OT…

2:00 After Ellis somehow missed a wide-open transition dunk, Artest’s lefty layup tied the game at 100. Vujacic, Blake and Barnes had replaced Gasol, Bryant and Fisher alongside Artest and Brown.

1:15 Advantage, Lakers. Brown nailed his fourth triple of the game after another near-miss from Ellis, who had made only one of his previous 10 shots after starting the game 15-of-20. After a Williams’ hoop, L.A. isolated Artest on the wing, and he delivered a tough shot over Lee to put L.A. back up three with 11.2 seconds left.

That would be all, mercifully, for the preseason, Barnes collecting the final rebound in a 105-102 Lakers win.

5 Steals for Ron Artest, who added 11 points and seven boards with three assists in a solid all-around game to cap a solid all-around preseason.

6 Lakers second half turnovers, five fewer than the first half, keying their late charge.

9 Straight points to close the fourth quarter for L.A., tying the game at 98 before Kobe Bryant rimmed out on a potential game-winning three. No. 24 had been responsible for the late burst, scoring the first six points before finding Shannon Brown for the game-tying three.

9 Three-pointers made by the Lakers, led by Brown’s four, two each from Bryant and Derek Fisher and one from Sasha Vujacic in 28 team attempts, signifying the lack of post game with an absent Lamar Odom and Artest starting at the four.

41 Points for Monta Ellis, an NBA preseason high. He started the game 15-of-20 from the field, but made only one of his final 10 shots, tiring noticeably and understandably.