Below is a running diary of L.A.’s preseason contest against Golden State from San Diego, with some comments drawn from our @LakersReporter Twitter account, and a few more details in case you missed any of the action:
Lakers: Fisher, Vujacic*, Artest, Odom and Gasol
Warriors: Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, Vladimir Radmanovic, David Lee and Andris Biedrins
*Vujacic was starting in place of Kobe Bryant, taking the game off to rest. He will start on Friday night in Ontario.
8:08 Well, that looked easy. Derek Fisher three-pointers, Sasha Vujacic pull-up jumpers, Pau Gasol and-ones and turnarounds … it was quickly 10-0, and then 13-2 Lakers before many fans even sat down at the San Diego Sports Arena. In other Vujacic news, the Slovenian confirmed before the game that he was engaged to girlfriend and tennis star Maria Sharapova.
4:44 Vujacic had missed L.A.’s last three games with a concussion, but Luke Walton hadn’t played at all in the preseason after straining his hamstring in London. Walton knows the team’s offense so well, and is so keen to facilitate, that assistant coach Brian Shaw said he didn’t miss a beat in a full practice on Wednesday. It showed moments later when Walton made an extra pass out of the offense to find a wide-open Steve Blake for a three (swish) that made it 26-18 L.A.
0:51.6 Gasol, meanwhile, was getting any shot he wanted on Biedrins, and while he managed nine points, he could have had six more as three shots rimmed out. Phil Jackson (who stayed in L.A. with flu-like symptoms) mentioned after Wednesday’s practice that his Catalan big man had yet to really ramp it up in preseason, but some things were starting to fall into place with the regular season now five days away. The Lakers finished the quarter with Blake’s tough runner to reach 30 points on 11-of-20 shooting (55 percent), conceding 25 Warriors points.
6:30 The Lakers were featuring Odom on the low block early, and he used the time to notch a few hockey assists while making the final two of seven field goal attempts. At least until halfway through the second, when he took a shot to the nose and had to come out to stop the bleeding. Of course, being who he is, Odom used the occasion to crack the entire bench up. Bryant, Walton and Fisher in particular were doubled over laughing before Odom (who was just fine) finally got up to head to the training room with trainer Gary Vitti.
3:41 Barnes nailed his second consecutive three to tie the game at 46 after L.A. had fallen off a bit on the scoreboard despite appearing to control the game, keyed in part by Golden State’s 11 offensive rebounds.
0:35.0 The teams exchanged hoops until Vujacic’s swished triple gave L.A. a 55-52 lead into halftime. Gasol led the way with 13 points, while Fisher had eight, Odom and Blake seven, Barnes six and Vujacic five.
6:24 Gasol and Vujacic had a nice lil’ two-man game running early in the third, with the Slovenian getting two open jumpers, both makes, and Gasol abusing Biedrins with an up-and-under move plus a pair of his own jumpers, putting L.A. up 67-63.
5:37 After missing his first six shots in his first poor shooting game of the preseason, Artest dropped a second-chance three thanks to Odom’s offensive rebound to put the Lakers up two. Phil Jackson cited Artest’s better general comfort within the offense, knowing when he was going to be getting his shots and from where, for the early improvement.
0:00 L.A.’s bench continued its excellent preseason play to close the 3rd on a 13-4 run, opening up an 86-76 lead into the fourth quarter. Blake and Barnes led the way, Blake getting to 11 points with four assists and Barnes to eight points, while Artest continued his productive period with three assists (five total) and his third field goal.
8:20 The good bench play continued as Blake converted a tough and-1 through contact in transition, preceding Theo Ratliff’s second block, a Barnes layup and finally a Devin Ebanks runner that suddenly found the Lakers up 104-81.
4:44 Luke Walton checked back in for the first time since a five-minute run in the first quarter and promptly hit a corner three that got amongst the friendliest bounces in NBA history. It’s fair, however, for the hometown kid. L.A. still rolling at that point, its lead extending to 24.
0:23.6 An emphatic thunder dunk from Ebanks off Brown’s alley-oop toss – yes, for once Brown was passing and not throwing down an oop – closed a 65-point second half for the Lakers that produced a 120-99 victory in San Diego.
We’ll see you tomorrow night in Ontario for another game against Golden State, in which Kobe Bryant will play.