With the return of Kobe Bryant to the practice court and four days off, the Los Angeles Lakers are re-energized and look for a win against the Golden State Warriors. Without Stephen Curry who is out with a concussion, the Lakers hope to take advantage and redeem themselves for the 125-94 loss earlier this season. While the Lakers are without Chris Kaman and Steve Nash, Jordan Hill has averaged a double-double since being inserted into the starting line-up.
Both teams started at a frantic pace as the Warriors got out to an early 10-4 lead. However, the Lakers were able to close the gap with eight points from Pau Gasol. While both teams struggled from the field, the Lakers bench came in with good energy on the defensive end and limited the Warriors to one possession. With a three-pointer by Jordan Farmar to end the quarter, the Lakers lead 22-21.
With Andre Iguodala at point guard, Jordan Farmar applied good on-ball pressure to disrupt the Warriors’ offense. On the offensive end, Farmar scored five quick points and had five assists in just eight minutes of play. While both teams would go back and forth, Gasol’s strong start would continue when he came back in the game. With four quick points from Gasol and a three pointer by Steve Blake, the Lakers got out to a six point lead and would finish the half strong. Led by Gasol, the Lakers were able to extend the lead to nine heading into halftime.
The Warriors got off to a quick 4-0 run to cut the Lakers’ lead to five. While the teams went back and forth, the Warriors would make another run to cut the lead to one with the help of Laker turnovers. Midway through the quarter, the Warriors were able to tie the game at 63 all. However, the Lakers would respond with their own 12-0 run to end the third quarter and open the biggest lead of the game.
To start the fourth quarter, Shawne Williams hit a three-pointer to push the lead to 15. With the Warriors playing zone, they were able to disrupt the Lakers’ offense and cut the lead down to 11 midway through the fourth. However, Young would hit another three-pointer to prevent Golden State from cutting the deficit to single digits. While the Warriors tried to make one last push, the Lakers finished the game with strong defense.
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