Notebook: Warriors 109, Lakers 103



Posted Mar 26, 2013 3:18 AM

Geoff Lepper, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Stephen Curry, a game-time decision after suffering a sprained right ankle on Saturday, put up a team-high 25 points with 10 assists and seven rebounds as the Golden State Warriors beat the Los Angeles Lakers 109-103 Monday.

Kobe Bryant had a game-high 36 points for the Lakers (36-35), 23 in the second half as Los Angeles -- which trailed by a 63-40 count at the half -- couldn't come back for a seventh consecutive win against Golden State.

Klay Thompson had 22 points with six 3-pointers for the Warriors (41-31), who moved 4 1/2 games ahead of the Lakers in the Western Conference standings. David Lee delivered 23 points and 12 rebounds for his league-leading 26th game with at least 20 and 10, respectively, in those categories.

Steve Nash quietly approached a triple-double for the Lakers with 21 points, nine boards and seven assists.

QUOTABLE: "What more could you ask of an MVP-type player?"

-- Warriors guard Jarrett Jack, on Curry's performance

THE STAT: It's not anything new, but the Lakers' much-maligned defense simply had no answer for the Warriors' backcourt, especially with Golden State's twinned ability to hit from deep and create plays off penetration. Curry, Jack and Thompson combined to shoot 9-for-21 on 3-pointers, but also had 16 assists against just five turnovers.

TURNING POINT: Los Angeles closed to within seven points at the 1:36 mark of the fourth quarter, and were six points down in the final 10 seconds. The Lakers would have been able to make things even more interesting -- or terrifying, from the home fans' perspective -- if they hadn't botched the end of the third quarter so badly. Los Angeles missed seven of nine free throws in the final 23.9 seconds of that period -- two by Bryant, two by Dwight Howard, three by Pau Gasol -- and allowed Carl Landry to get open for an uncontested dunk to keep the Warriors' lead at a healthy 18 points.

QUOTABLE II: "We've played 72 games, and the survey says that we're the better basketball team. We were not going to come into this game on our heels."

-- Warriors coach Mark Jackson

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: If you have Jarrett Jack on your team, you should apparently make sure he's active any time the Warriors face the Lakers. Jack tallied 19 points Monday, and in his last two games against L.A., both at Oracle Arena, he has a total of 48 points on 22-for-35 shooting with 14 assists.

HOT: The Warriors' first four buckets in the third quarter were all 3-pointers. That helped them build their largest lead of the game at 75-50 and withstand Bryant's parade to the free-throw line (he took 11 foul shots in the third period alone). Golden State has made at least 10 treys in four of the last five games, shooting 49.0 percent over that stretch.

NOT: The Lakers' bench has been stretched all season, but Monday things were particularly dire. Through the first three quarters, Los Angeles' reserves were a combined 2-for-18, missing all eight 3-pointers.

GOOD MOVE: Given that Metta World Peace plays heavy minutes at power forward in the small-ball lineup of Mike D'Antoni, the Lakers' coach could have abandoned that unit when World Peace was forced out of the game at halftime with a strained left knee. Instead, D'Antoni surrounded Howard with four guards, using Bryant at the 4 -- guarding Lee -- in the fourth quarter. The ploy worked, at least partially; Los Angeles outscored Golden State 27-15 in the final 12 minutes.

BAD MOVES: The Lakers crept to within 16 points on multiple occasions during the final 3 minutes of the second quarter, but fumbled away their chances to create a manageable halftime deficit by allowing the Warriors to close on a 9-2 run. That included a couple of self-inflicted wounds just before the buzzer. First, World Peace tried an ill-advised length-of-the-court inbounds with 1.4 seconds left. The ball sailed out of bounds untouched -- in the officials' eyes, at least, if not the Lakers' -- giving the Warriors possession under Los Angeles' hoop. Then, when Golden State brought center Andrew Bogut back for the ensuing restart and saw Bryant take that defensive assignment, Jackson immediately switched to an alley-oop inbounds pass from Curry. Bogut tapped the ball home and the Warriors led by 23.

INSIDE THE ARENA: Lee and World Peace got into a fairly pedestrian jawing session after Lee was called for fouling World Peace midway through the second quarter. But World Peace ended the discussion with an unusual flourish, reaching out with his left hand to tousle Lee's hair. . . . Lee was again the center of attention a few minutes later when he drew a foul on Howard. Replays showed Lee's arm caught Howard in the mouth, leaving him with a bloody lip and a technical foul after he chewed out Lee near halfcourt. "That was obviously unintentional," Lee said.

ROOKIE WATCH: Warriors center Festus Ezeli had one of his best games in recent months, providing a jolt of energy in the second quarter with four points and four rebounds.

NOTABLE: The Warriors led for the final 43:47. ... The Lakers are still 28-5 in their last 33 games against Golden State. ... It was Bryant's 30th 30-point game this season.

UP NEXT: For the Lakers, Wednesday @ Minnesota, Thursday @ Milwaukee, Saturday @ Sacramento. For the Warriors, Wednesday vs. Sacramento, Saturday vs. Portland, Wednesday vs. New Orleans.