Lakers 87, Warriors 95: April 6 Running Diary

Below is a running diary of L.A.’s Wednesday evening road contest at Golden State, the Lakers looking to snap a two-game losing streak, with some comments drawn from our @LakersReporter Twitter account, and a few more details in case you missed any of the action:

Starters
Lakers: Fisher, Bryant, Artest, Gasol and Bynum
Warriors: S. Curry, M. Ellis, D. Wright, D. Lee, E. Udoh

FIRST QUARTER
9:10 After a blistering 10-0 start for L.A., Golden State finally got on the scoreboard with a David Lee put back. But make no mistake, this was the Laker team that came out of the break 17-1, not the losers of two straight at home… At least until they started missing shots, failing to hit for eight straight attempts while the Warriors got to within five at 19-14.

1:08 A jumper from Bryant stopped the streak of misses, and he added another to reach 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting to lead all scorers. The Warriors shot the ball horribly, making just 7-of-29 attempts (including Steph Curry’s 0-for-7 line), their 14 total point in the quarter a product mostly of hard work on the offensive glass (seven of their 13 boards).

SECOND QUARTER
9:17 A repeated theme of late has been the inconsistent play of L.A.’s bench, and unfortunately for the Purple and Gold, it continued in Oakland as the Warriors flew out of the second quarter on a 10-0 run, book-ended by Monta Ellis three-pointers, taking a 24-23 lead.

5:56 Struggling to find any semblance of rhythm on offense, the second unit saw Odom and Blake go 0-for-3, Brown 0-for-2 and Barnes 1-for-2, while ignoring Andrew Bynum inside despite his huge size advantage over 6-9 Lou Amundson. Not what Phil Jackson and his staff had in mind, particularly, though L.A. still led by a point after two ‘Drew free throws. Also plaguing L.A. for the third straight game were turnovers. They had 10 already after 20 and 19 in their past two games.

0:00 A horrible offensive quarter for the Lakers produced only 15 points, Odom’s put-back layup just the fourth field goal of the period, with the Warriors scoring at will to reach 29 points in the period to take a 43-38 lead. One bright spot was Bynum’s 13 rebounds in 17 minutes just a night after his career-high 23 boards against Utah.

THIRD QUARTER
7:40 We mentioned the early shooting struggles of the bench, which extended to starters Artest (1-for-5) and Fisher (1-for-6). But bigs Gasol and Bynum had combined to make 10-for-12 shots, L.A. finally starting to force feed it inside as Bryant had yet to attempt a shot. Meanwhile, Curry started to heat up for the Warriors, making three straight shots to give G.S. a 56-50 lead.

3:51 Would a slashing, hanging reverse layup from Bryant, plus the foul, finally get the Lakers going from an energy standpoint? His sixth bucket, and first of the quarter, cut Golden State’s 12-point lead to 63-54. But moments later, the NBA’s leader in three-pointers, Dorell Wright, made his first bomb in six attempts to open the Warriors biggest lead at 67-54.

0:00 Well, we had an answer about whether L.A. would build off Bryant’s tough bucket: No. It was Golden State, instead, flying around to close the quarter with a 72-55 lead. The Lakers knew they had a second season starting in a bit over a week, while Golden State was playing completely loose, the difference in energy being the obvious difference in the game. Since Dallas lost earlier this evening, falling three losses back in the loss column, a loss wouldn’t necessarily affect L.A.’s Western standing. And while Miami also lost (two back in loss column), the Celtics remained just one back, meaning a Warriors win would put L.A. even with Boston.

FOURTH QUARTER
9:11 Since returning from his knee injury, Matt Barnes had struggled to find an offensive rhythm, scoring in double digits only once and failing to score six points in five straight games, albeit with few field goal attempts. But his three-pointer, steal and and-1 in transition produced six points in 20 seconds, getting the Lakers within 13 points.

6:11 The general rule in the NBA is to try and get within 10 points with six minutes to play for a chance to win, and L.A. could have been there as Steve Blake’s three fell short instead of making it a 9-point game. At the other end, Curry’s triple sank home, pushing the Warriors lead right back to 15. Meanwhile, L.A.’s lack of execution could be shown as they had the same number of turnovers and assists (16).

2:01 Not quite dead yet? Bryant went on a personal 10-0 scoring run for the Lakers, cutting Golden State’s lead to eight (90-82), but was it too little, too late?

0:00 Yup. Golden State 95, Lakers 87. A few more opportunities presented themselves, but there wasn’t enough time left to prevent a third straight loss for a team looking tired of regular season basketball. Your numbers:

POSTGAME NUMBERS
20 Rebounds averaged by Andrew Bynum in L.A.’s back-to-back. He had 17 against the Warriors, though just two in the second half, after setting his career high with 23 against Utah.

18 Turnovers for the Lakers, who managed just 17 assists, the third straight game in which they failed to register more assists than turnovers. They committed 19 turnovers with 19 assists against Utah, and 20 turnovers with 20 assists against Denver. In related news, all three were losses.

10 Points for Matt Barnes, the second time he’s reached double figures since returning from his knee injury on March 6. Barnes has been a low volume shooter, of course, so points aren’t the focus, but his spark caused Phil Jackson to leave him in during crunch time.

2 Games ahead of Dallas in the West in the race for the No. 2 seed. The Mavs have lost four straight games, the Lakers three, which also dropped L.A. even with the Celtics for potential home court advantage in the Finals.

0 Crunch time minutes for Ron Artest and Pau Gasol, as Jackson went with Barnes and Bynum.