Below is a running diary of L.A.’s Tuesday evening road contest at Golden State, the Lakers looking to bounce back from a home loss to Memphis, with some comments drawn from our @LakersReporter Twitter account, and a few more details in case you missed any of the action:
Lakers: Sessions, Bryant, World Peace, Gasol and Bynum
Warriors: C. Jenkins*, K. Thompson, D. Wright, D. Lee, J. Tyler
Second round pick Jenkins was starting for Stephen Curry, shelved with an ankle injury, while Monta Ellis had been traded eight games ago to the Bucks.
7:00 Kobe climbed way up the ladder to get L.A. off to a pretty solid offensive start, piggy backing on the team’s 48 percent shooting since Ramon Sessions came over from Cleveland, producing a 12-8 lead. All five starters scored at least two points before Kobe’s second bucket.
2:00 L.A. continued to control the game with relative ease, Kobe finding Bynum for an alley-oop that made it 23-12 and got Bryant dime No. 3. The Warriors had managed only 27.3 percent from the field on 6-of-22 field goals, L.A. well clogging the paint and forcing contested jump shots.
12:00 The lead after one was 25-16, with Bryant’s eight points leading the way, and the Spaniard clearing 10 boards off the glass. The only one mad about that in L.A. may have been Bynum, who had just one board a game after he finished with four … maybe Pau could give him one?
7:45 A great defensive possessions for Matt Barnes was highlighted by a swat of Klay Thompson’s shot, but that wasn’t all Barnes was doing. He also had seven points with five boards, continuing to shine off L.A.’s bench, as the lead stayed at 11 thanks to a pretty shot from Gasol.
0:00 After controlling the first 21 minutes, L.A. slipped in the final three, allowing a 7-0 run that helped the Warriors trim what was a 16-point edge early in the quarter to a 55-48 margin at the break. L.A. had similarly controlled first half action at Detroit and Washington against weaker teams, only to give up the lead late, so clearly that’d be a focus in the second half. With the playoffs coming up in about a month, protecting leads on the road is of paramount importance to the coaches.
7:56 With a pull-up three-pointer, Kobe matched Michael Jordan for 2nd place on the all-time single franchise scoring list, reaching 29,277 points in his historic career. He also put the Lakers up 10 points, where they got thanks to a 6-0 run just after Bynum got yanked for pulling up and shooting a three-pointer of his own.
0:00 After pushing the lead back to 14, riding continued strong play from Barnes off the bench and getting three buckets from a muscling-his-way-inside World Peace, the Warriors went on another quick run, cutting the deficit to seven (79-72) into the final period.
10:00 A 6-1 Warriors run to open the fourth had L.A.’s lead down to just two, but answering the bell as he had all night was Barnes, who nailed his third three (15 points) to push the lead back to five. Nonetheless, allowing an opponent to claim some life when things had been under control not once but twice wasn’t something the Lakers would likely be thrilled about.
And, by the way, Bynum had started the fourth quarter after being yanked early in the third, but Mike Brown pulled him back out at the 9:10 mark in favor of Gasol, the center taking a permanent seat on the bench. (Note: after the game, Brown said he simply wanted to go in a different direction, but the lack of energy in Bynum’s play at both ends was pretty apparent).
2:36 Two leads of at least 14 points finally got fully erased, as Richard Jefferson’s three tied the game at 95. The crowd was by this point fully engaged and charged, and Golden State was responding with a bevy of tough shots, with Brandon Rush, Thompson and Lee all nailing long range jumpers. Meanwhile, a zone defense was helping make life difficult on L.A. at the other end.
0:32.3 To the rescue came Kobe Bryant, who’d made only 3-of-11 shots in the second half before burying back-to-back tough jumpers from the left wing despite the presence of two defenders. The first tied it at 97 after Lee’s jumper gave Golden State its only lead, and the second put L.A. back in front. Two big stops on D came first from (who else) World Peace, who swatted Thompson’s foray into the paint, and then with a strong contest in the paint from Gasol and McRoberts to force a Rush miss. It was the Spaniard hitting two free throws with 22.4 seconds left, and Bryant with 18.8 left. The final margin: 104-101, improving L.A.’s record to 31-19, and 11-15 on the road.
Kobe finished with 30 points, five boards and five assists, Gasol grabbed 17 boards with his 19 points, World Peace had 11 points, five boards and the key block and Barnes was fantastic off the bench with 18 points (a season high), 10 boards, three assists and two blocks.
Next up: Oklahoma City on Thursday at Staples. See you there.