The Los Angeles Lakers returned home to Staples Center and defeated the Golden State Warriors 104-98.
Due to the Lakers only having a couple days of rest after their trip to China, head coach Frank Vogel opted to rest most of his starters. In their place, Los Angeles started the game with Alex Caruso, Zach Norvell Jr., Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Jared Dudley, and Dwight Howard.
The first quarter got off to a sloppy start as both teams failed to find much rhythm. However, Norvell was one of the few bright spots as he managed to pour in 10 points on six shots, helping the Lakers go up 28-17 at the end of the period.
Los Angeles continued to control the game behind some nice plays from David Stockton as he was able to dish out a couple of assists. Meanwhile, JaVale McGee made his presence in the paint known with a few rebounds and putbacks.
However, the Warriors made a push in the middle of the quarter behind a few baskets from Stephen Curry. In response, the Lakers began to attack the paint which led to several free throw attempts for Caruso and Norvell. Despite Golden State forcing 14 Los Angeles turnovers, the Lakers went into halftime up 55-48.
Devontae Cacok started the second half in place of Dudley in an effort to preserve the veteran forward and showed some of his athleticism. However, it was Howard who really gave the Lakers a lift with his hustle and effort on both ends of the floor.
Norvell also continued to provide some scoring punch on a night where Los Angeles was missing their two All-Star players, knocking down jumpers to help keep the purple and gold on top. The rest of the Lakers bench also provided a nice spark as they played with good effort and pace, allowing the team to go into the fourth with an 87-72 lead.
With both benches cleared, the game featured several instances of choppy play. However, Norvell had arguably the play of the night as he dropped Jordan Poole on a slick crossover before finishing a layup and drawing an and-1 which he converted.
A late surge from Golden State cut the Los Angeles lead to only three before five unanswered points from Demetrius Jackson helped keep them at bay and allowed the Lakers to escape with a victory.