Jordan Clarkson vs. Golden State
Jordan Clarkson shoots against the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 5, 2016.
(Harry How/Getty Images)

Lakers Unable to Stop Thompson, Defending Champs

by Joey Ramirez
Digital Reporter

Playing against his father’s old team, Klay Thompson showed once again that the name on the back of his jersey is no longer a welcome sight for Lakers fans.

While former Showtime Laker Mychal Thompson provided color commentary on the radio for ESPN 710, Klay went to work erupting for 36 points in 34 minutes, while hitting half of his dozen 3-point attempts in Golden State’s 109-88 win over the purple and gold.

Thompson quickly let Los Angeles know that its three-game win streak was at its likely conclusion, as he poured in 22 points in the first quarter alone. He shot 9-of-13 from the field, while the Lakers went just 6-of-21 as a team.

“It was a combination of Klay Thompson and Klay Thompson,” Larry Nance Jr. said.

With Kobe Bryant (sore right shoulder) and D’Angelo Russell (sore throat) out for the Lakers, the defending-champion Warriors (33-2) built a 15-point halftime lead, which they soon expanded to 33 thanks largely to Thompson’s 14 points in the third quarter.

Thompson, who averaged about 30 points in his previous three games, fueled Golden State to 22 unanswered points and an 88-55 lead midway through the frame.

“We were just talking about how the lead expanded so quickly,” Nance said. “Klay Thompson came out just scorching and there was not much we could do about it, because we were contesting and (Anthony Brown) was playing really good defense on him. It was just one of those nights.”

In spite of 23 points on an 8-of-20 mark from Jordan Clarkson, L.A. (8-28) never led. In fact, it shot just 27.9 percent through three quarters and finished 29-of-91 — which could have been worse if not for a strong fourth quarter with both team’s benches in.

“We just kind of didn’t make shots,” Clarkson said. “Guys started thinking a little bit too much. But I think as a team we grew a little bit.”

Reigning MVP Stephen Curry (17 points, six assists) was limited to 26 minutes due to a lower-leg injury that Golden State’s training staff told him would take four weeks to fully heal.

Despite the injury, Golden State managed to hit 13 3-pointers to the Lakers’ five en route to victory.

“Sometimes it can be a little frustrating when you’re playing as hard as you can and they hit some of the shots that they hit,” head coach Byron Scott said. “Like I told the guys before the game: Mentally, it’s going to be more of a challenge because they are capable of getting big runs like they do.”

Watch your head Larry!

A photo posted by Los Angeles Lakers (@lakers) on

Notes
Curry said he is not planning to sit out for the full four weeks. … Draymond Green did not reach his fourth straight triple-double, as he played only 28 minutes, resulting in nine points, 12 rebounds and five assists. … Lou Williams shot 0-of-7, but had 10 points on a perfect night at the free throw line. … A sellout crowd of 18,997 filled Staples Center.

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