LOS ANGELES – Maybe this was not a good night for a nationally televised matchup. The Los Angeles Lakers, minus Anthony Davis, showed up and did their part. The Golden States Warriors decided to lay an egg and stink up the place.
That’s neither nor there for the Lakers. That’s because it was a night of season highs for the Lakers in a couple of categories against the Warriors Sunday night at STAPLES Center. Unlike their Jan. 18 encounter in which Steph Curry and the Warriors upended the Lakers, Los Angeles handled Golden State quite easily this time around.
The Lakers were able to beat their Pacific Division rivals by getting to the rim more and playing perimeter defense. They also scorched Golden State with a near-flawless first half of offensive basketball.
As a result, with Lebron James playing limited minutes, the Lakers beat the Warriors, 117-91. The game wasn’t even that close. The Lakers put the pressure on the Warriors after one quarter, stacking up a 41-21 lead. It would get worse for Golden State as the Laker recorded their highest point total for a half this season when they put 73 points on the scoreboard.
The Warriors? They only had 44 points at that point in the game. It was all downhill for the Warriors from there. The game was so lopsided that the Lakers at one point held a 35-point lead (98-63) over the Warriors in the third quarter.
The good news about the Lakers blowout win was that it gave James a chance to get rested before the team’s last two games of the first half of the regular season. In 24 minutes of action, James scored 19 points and totaled six rebounds.
Rebounding was an operative word for the Lakers against the Warriors. The Lakers grabbed a season-high 60 rebounds against a much smaller and out-of-place Golden State team. Los Angeles is 8-1 on the season when they have registered 50 or more rebounds.
The Lakers weren’t just snagging rebounds; they were also executing great perimeter and interior defense. The Lakers are now 11-1 on the season when they hold their opponents to less than 100 points. As a result of their good defensive play, the Lakers managed to come up with 14 steals in the ballgame-another season-high.
While James rested from doing the bulk of the workload, the rest of Frank Vogel’s team picked up the slack. The Lakers had six players who scored in double-digits. The Lakers held Golden State to just 40 percent shooting from the field and did not allow the Warriors to cross the 30-point threshold in any of the four quarters.
Featured image: Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) bringing the ball up the floor against the Phoenix Suns on Jan. 2, 2020. Photo by Mark Hammond/News4usonline