On a day that featured a full plate of NFL games and Game 4 of the World Series it’s no surprise that this game between the Lakers and Warriors wasn’t the most anticipated sporting event on Sunday. By the time the game was over there really was no doubt as to why, as the Lakers took care of a scrappy Golden State team at Staples.
The game started strong for Los Angeles, as the starters looked smooth and in rhythm throughout the first. The real encouraging sign for the Lakers was the movement and energy of Kobe Bryant, who looked much healthier at the start of this game than he has so far to start the season.
Another bright spot for Los Angeles in the first was Lamar Odom. For those who thought his performance last summer in the World Championships were a precursor to his contributions in the regular season, it is looking like those predictions may hold some value. By the time the quarter came to an end it appeared the Warriors were in for a long night, trailing the Lakers 34-14.
With the lead in hand the starters took a seat while the new and improved bench mob took their shot. Unfortunately the reserves struggled during the second quarter of this one, and allowed Golden State to get back into the game. New additions Steve Blake, Theo Ratliff, and Matt Barnes logged some heavy minutes in the second quarter, but were relatively inefficient.
The lone bright spot for Golden State in the first half was the play of guard Monta Ellis. Ellis was able to dice up the Lakers defense, getting to the rim repeatedly against the Los Angeles second unit. Ellis was able to get Golden State within nine points, but unfortunately for the Warriors that was before the starters returned. The Lakers were able to rebuild their lead heading into the half, 56-38.
Heading into the second half the game seemed all but decided. The only real questions for Los Angeles were statistical. The starters for Los Angeles came in to start the third and were able to build the lead throughout most of the quarter. Extending their lead to 24 at one point in the third, Los Angeles never really wavered.
Even after a 9-0 run from Golden State the Lakers still managed to maintain control. Thanks to a timely three-point shot from Derek Fisher and the height advantage that Los Angeles holds over Golden State, the Lakers were able to finish the quarter with a 81-64 lead.
With the game all but decided, the fourth quarter was merely a formality. While most of the starters rested for the majority of the quarter, the bench mob was able to get some good minutes cleaning up the game. While the newest additions to the Lakers were taking care of business, Kobe Bryant was able to give his variety of injuries some well-needed rest.
After the victory tonight the Lakers improved their record to 24-3 in their last 27 meetings with the Warriors. To say they’ve controlled the Warriors is a bit of an understatement, as this was also the tenth straight victory for Los Angeles over Golden State. Pau Gasol kept the reserves together in the fourth, and was certainly tonight’s player of the game. Despite the lopsided score, several of the Lakers players struggled. Ron Artest and Steve Blake never found their shot tonight, but thanks to the depth of the roster it was not a problem.
In the end the Lakers were able to send Golden State packing with an easy and relatively uneventful victory, 107-83.
After a fairly simple dismantling of the Golden State Warriors the Lakers will rest on Monday and prepare for their Tuesday night match-up with the Memphis Grizzlies. For those of you looking to connect with Lakers play-by-play analyst Joel Meyers, be sure to send him your questions and see if he answers you live during a Lakers broadcast!