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NBA - Lakers Surprise Warriors, 113-105


PhilBoxing.com




LOS ANGELES ? The third time proved to be the proverbial charm for the Kobe-less Los Angeles Lakers, who were able to find a way to beat the Golden State Warriors, the team with the best record in the NBA.

The Lakers used good ball movement, high energy, and solid defense to beat the Warriors, 115-105, on Tuesday night at Staples Center.

The victory was the Lakers? first over the Warriors this season, snapping a three-game skid. The win improved the Lakers' record to 9-19 while the Warriors still maintain an NBA best record at 23-4.

The Lakers were in a generous mood and doled out 19 assists in the first half and 28 overall. They moved the ball around in a balanced scoring attack, resulting in seven Lakers scoring in double figures as Carlos Boozer led the way with 18 points while Ronnie Price had 17 and Nick Young had 15 points.

As noted by Young, "it was a good team win."

Stephen Curry had 22 points and six assists and Klay Thompson had 18 points in a losing effort for the Warriors.

With Kobe sitting this game out and with the ?Logo? Jerry West and former Laker Vlade Divac in the stands, the Lakers made it abundantly clear that they wanted to send the fans home with the gift of a victory. They not only gave the fans the victory, but they almost them home with two free tacos by scoring over 100 points and keeping the Warriors under 100 points.

While they came up just short in the free taco department, the fans were not complaining as they were happy to get the victory. Meanwhile, the Warriors looked sluggish in this second game of a back-to-back. Outside of Klay Thompson and Stephan Curry, the Warriors looked a half-step slow.

The Lakers showed promise out of the gate as they out-hustled the Warriors and raced to a 10 point first quarter lead. Ronnie Price was in a giving mood as he had nine assists to go along with Wesley Johnson?s 7 points in the first quarter alone. The reserves Nick ?Swaggy P? Young, Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer, and Robert Sacre entered the game midway through the quarter to further spark the Lakers as they scored 33 first quarter points and built a 34-24 lead.

The Warriors certainly looked out of sync as there was no helping each other out on defense, leaving the Lakers with wide open shots. In a nutshell, Warriors could not match the energy of the Lakers.


Jordan Clarkson entered the game in the second quarter and came up with a big breakaway dunk followed by an electric three pointer by Young to build the Laker lead to 14 half way through the period. The Lakers continued to have great ball movement and used their aggressive defense to end the quarter as they led 63-48 at halftime, thanks to a 56 percent shooting clip.

The Lakers began the third quarter like they ended the second quarter ? on a roll. Baskets by Wesley Johnson, Ed Davis, and Price allowed the Lakers to build a 20 point lead. But the Warriors showed pride as Stephan Curry and Klay Thompson got hot and hit a barrage of three pointers and two pointers to cut the lead down to 12 midway through the period. But Price responded with a barrage of three pointers of his own as the Lakers built the lead back up and ended the third with a 95-73 lead.

The Warriors tried to make it close in the fourth quarter but the Lakers responded to every basket the Warriors scored.

Coach Byron Scott said tonight's effort "shows we (Lakers) can play with the better teams in this league." When asked whether the Lakers can play like they did tonight with Kobe reinserted in the line-up, Scott said "I think so."

Laker fans will find out soon as next up for the Lakers is a Christmas Day match-up with the Chicago Bulls and former Laker Pau Gasol while the Warriors stay put in L.A. for a Christmas Day match-up against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Side note: in an MGM promotion, Vlade Divac brought the sell out crowd to their feet during a time out in the fourth quarter by hitting a half court shot to win $90,000 for charity.

Photo: Carlos Boozer lay in a twinner in the Lakers' surprise 113-105 finale over the Warriors Tuesday night at Staples Center.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Keith Butler.


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