11/14 04:09 CST Lakers beat Warriors 120-94, improve to 9-2
Lakers beat Warriors 120-94, improve to 9-2
By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) --- No Anthony Davis for the first time this season, no
problem for the Los Angeles Lakers.
LeBron James had 23 points and 12 assists in three quarters, Kyle Kuzma and
JaVale McGee dominated the middle, and the Lakers rolled past the hobbled
Golden State Warriors 120-94 on Wednesday night.
Kuzma scored 22 points starting for Davis and McGee had 18 points and 17
"Our bigs were amazing," James said. "They controlled the interior both
offensively and defensively."
The Lakers improved to 9-2 despite playing without Davis, who was held out
because of a sore right shoulder.
"If one of our stars go down, we have to pick up for him," McGee said.
The Lakers had 31 assists in the second half of a back-to-back. Their 39 at
Phoenix a night earlier was the franchise's most since April 14, 2009. They
notched 31 against defending NBA champion Toronto.
"We know we're very good when we're moving the ball," said James, adding that
assists totaling in the high 20s to 30s "let's me know we're definitely paying
James & Co. didn't waste any time breaking out. He won the opening tip and
McGee scored off his alley-oop pass. James keyed a 12-0 run with six points in
the first quarter when the Lakers shot 70 percent and made five 3-pointers.
Their 38 points tied a season high for points in a quarter.
Los Angeles extended its lead to 18 points in the second. The Warriors scored
11 in a row to get within seven, but the Lakers quickly restored their lead to
double digits at halftime. James' vicious one-handed dunk riled up the crowd.
Their 67 points tied a season high for points in a half.
Former Laker D'Angelo Russell scored 21 points for the Warriors, who lost their
fifth in a row and fell to 2-10, worst in the West.
"We're playing hard, but we have defensive lapses and it adds up," Russell
said. "We have to figure it out. We have guys that are capable, but we have to
continue to learn."
Golden State is but a shadow of the franchise that made five straight NBA
Finals appearances. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are injured, and Kevin
Durant departed in the offseason.
"We're getting a great effort but we're not executing," Warriors coach Steve
Kerr said. "Right now, we're taking our licks and we must learn from our
mistakes. Our young guys are learning by getting thrown into the fire."
Twice the Lakers led by 23 in the third, the second time on a 3-pointer by
Dwight Howard. He finished with 15 points and eight rebounds.
Los Angeles extended its lead to 27 in the fourth. McGee's one-handed reverse
dunk highlighted a 14-5 opening run.
"We did a good job locking in on defense and put a lot of pressure on the
paint," Kuzma said.
James sat out the final period, but he still assisted, pulling Davis and
DeMarcus Cousins out of their seats to join the team during a timeout.
Warriors: Their five-game winning streak against the Lakers in LA ended. Golden
State had won 10 of 11 overall in the series. ... Draymond Green had 10 points
in his second game after missing five straight with a left index finger sprain.
Lakers: Davis is expected to return Friday. ... Rajon Rondo (mild right calf
strain) sat out but will return for the next back-to-back on Nov. 22-23. ...
They are 5-1 at home. ... Their only losses have been to the Clippers and
James has a history of being better in the second half of a back-to-back.
"We don't have shootaround," he said by way of explanation. "I get to sleep in."
Warriors: Host Boston on Friday, one of just two home games during a 10-game
stretch that has them traveling from Houston to Minneapolis to New Orleans.
Lakers: Host Sacramento on Friday in a game that brings ex-Lakers coach Luke
Walton back to Staples Center. They went 3-1 against the Kings last season.
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