Marcelo Huertas vs. Golden State
Marcelo Huertas attempts a shot against Golden State in San Diego.
(Noah Graham/Getty Images)

Lakers Sprint Past Warriors in Shortened Affair

by Joey Ramirez
Digital Reporter

SAN DIEGO — The Lakers kept splashing shots against Golden State, and the hardwood itself reflected that.

But it wasn’t LA’s 46.0 percent shooting that caused slippery patches to arise on the court, but instead it was the hockey ice that laid underneath at Valley View Casino Center. Due to the unsafe conditions, the game was called with 2:16 left in the third quarter, giving the Lakers an 85-70 victory.

“The officials said they weren’t comfortable with the slippage of players,” head coach Byron Scott said. “They said there was a possibility of players getting hurt. (Warriors coach) Luke (Walton) and I both talked. … I told him I don’t mind calling this game.”

Several players slipped throughout the game, and play was stopped in the second quarter in an attempt to dry the floor. Point guard Marcelo Huertas said that the court had been in subpar shape even before the game tipped off.

“Ever since the first time I went out (on the court) to shoot around,” Huertas said. “Every time you tried to change for direction or spin, it was really, really slippery.”

Young Guns Take Off
With both of their preseason leading scorers — Kobe Bryant (lower-leg contusion) and Lou Williams (sore groin) — sitting out of Saturday’s tilt, the Lakers looked to their youth to provide some offense, and a pair of them delivered.

Jordan Clarkson finished the game with a team-best 17 points on a 7-of-9 clip, while also brining down five rebounds. The First Team All-Rookie selection held his own against reigning MVP Stephen Curry, who put on his own show with 19 points (7-of-13), including five 3-pointers and four assists.

But Julius Randle was an even bigger issue for the Warriors, as he refused to back down against Defensive Player of the Year runner-up Draymond Green. Randle was a force down low, finishing with 14 points in just 12 minutes by hitting 4-of-8 from the field and 6-of-7 at the foul line.

“Julius doesn’t have any fear,” Scott said. “And I think he knew from the get-go that Draymond is one of the best defenders in this league, especially against perimeter guys. And he took that challenge.

“He went at him right away. Draymond — I don’t think he took (Randle) lightly — but I think after a few minutes he knew this kid isn’t bad.”

The Marcelo and Swaggy Show
Huertas had missed all five of the Lakers’ prior preseason games with a hamstring strain, but he showed little issue in leading the second unit during the entire second quarter. Huertas racked up six assists in a dozen minutes, adding four points as well.

“You need that,” Nick Young said. “You don’t have to work so hard, especially with a court like that today. I didn’t want to have to dribble and do all that extra stuff.”

Half of Huertas’ assists went to Young, who pitched in 10 points of his own by hitting three triples, including one four-point play.

Afterward, he had some advice for his new teammate.

“If he wants some assists, come my way,” Young said. “That’s what I was telling him: Come to the money.”

Larry Springer
Rookie Larry Nance, Jr. nearly sprung out of the building in the third quarter, getting his elbow up to rim level before dropping the hammer on a challenging Festus Ezeli.

“We saw him driving, and I was like, ‘OK, he’s gonna dunk,’” Huertas said. “But then I saw he’s against a huge guy. I was like, ‘No, maybe he’s gonna lay it up.’ But the guy just didn’t stop going up and up and up. All of a sudden it was one of the most amazing dunks I’ve seen in my life.”

Notes
Prior to pregame introductions, the Lakers took a moment to acknowledge former Laker Lamar Odom, who is currently in a Nevada hospital. … Former Laker Luke Walton is currently serving as Golden State’s interim head coach while Steve Kerr recovers from offseason back surgery. … Golden State was without three of its starters: Klay Thompson (personal reasons), Harrison Barnes (knee) and Andrew Bogut (broken nose). … A sellout crowd of 14,100 attended the abbreviated contest.

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