Stephen Curry came up gimpy by the end of the game, but Klay Thompson and the rest of the Warriors remained dominant against the Los Angeles Lakers, running past them 109-88. The game saw a top-down effort from the entire roster, as each moving piece in blue executed well against the Purple and Gold.
First Quarter: 37-25
The Warriors came out guns blazing, hitting two threes from Klay Thompson and Brandon Rush, respectively, and an in-and-out Stephen Curry trey. Klay was incendiary, blitzing the hapless Lakers to the tune of 22 points on 9 of 14 shooting in the first frame of action.
Defensively, the Warriors held the Lakers to 29% shooting from the field through a combination of seamless team defense and a general shoddy outing from the Lakers as a whole. The Lakers, especially guard Lou Williams, found haven at the free throw line. Fouling and free throw shooting was an unfortunate repeating theme, as the Lakers took 10 free throws in the first 5:30 of game time. Seven of the first nine Laker points came off of Williams free throws. As a whole, the Lakers shot 12 free throws in the opening quarter.
Offensively, the Warriors found their rhythm early. They shot 54% from the field, and were six of 10 from behind the arc on the quarter. Klay's early "fire emoji" status gave the Warriors' offense that effortless quality that happens when one of the Splash Bros. catches fire, and the offense at times devolved into "Find that man!" as the ball gravitated towards Klay. It worked, as the Warriors went for 37 in the quarter.
For the second straight game, Steph picked up two fouls early. Unlike last night, he stayed on the floor after his second.
Second Quarter: 62-47
The Warriors continued their decent execution on both ends of the ball into the second frame of action.
Most notably, Marreese Speights flashed his best bit of basketball on a smooth side-step in the paint for an easy bucket and Andrew Bogut got behind the entire Lakers transition defense like a wide receiver behind the secondary for a transition dunk.
The Lakers continued to find more success with the referees than the Warriors, extending their lone advantage of the game by shooting 16 of 20 from the charity stripe. This contrasted with the Warriors' 0 for 0 effort. More on this later.
The Warriors' defense continued to stifle a Lakers offensive attack that felt like it would've struggled regardless of the defensive intensity. The Lakers shot just 33% from the field by the end of the half, a direct juxtaposition against the Warriors' 52% from the field and 56% from range.
The Warriors also had 19 assists at the break. Klay Thompson was held to zero points in the second quarter. The Lakers fouled just three times by halftime. The whistles appeared to frustrate the Warriors at points in the half, leading to disconcerting body language and extra-loud "AND-ONE" barks from Draymond Green.
The story, but not the outcome, would flip in the second half.
Third Quarter: 92-60
The third frame saw continued defensive excellence coupled with a newfound ability to get to the free throw line. It was the Warriors time to march to the line, as they went 13 of 17 from the charity stripe in the quarter.
The major story of the quarter was Curry's apparent re-aggravation of his shin contusion on an aggressive drive into Roy Hibbert. Curry stayed in the game, albeit after fouling in order to get some bench-side rehab on the troublesome leg. He would later return to the locker room, although it was apparent that he could have stayed on the court had the opponents warranted it.
On the subject of bumps and bruises, it's highly likely Draymond is smarting just as much as Curry is right about now. He and Hibbert and Julius Randle grinded all night long, throwing elbows and connecting often. Metta World Peace smelled some of that physicality and jumped back into the game. At one point, he and Green traded words and a brotherly embrace, which gave the trigger happy referees enough reason to slap World Peace with a technical.
Klay Thompson resumed his reenactment of a flamethrower in a kerosene storage facility, finishing the quarter with 36 points off of 22 shots. This coincided with a 17-0 run and a nearly five minute field goal drought by the Warriors.
The Warriors road a 32 point lead into the fourth, with more concern pointed towards their bumps and bruises than the opponent on hand.
Fourth Quarter: 109-88
Not much worth mentioning in what was essentially a scrimmage.
Speights missed his second half-court dunk attempt of the game. It's still apparent he's got another ~10 pounds he needs to shed this season before he can hope to elevate quickly enough to finish off a dunk over another NBA big man.
Ryan Kelly of the Lakers beat the entire Warrior team off a made basket for a layup, then the Warriors committed a 24 second violation.
Speights, despite his winter coat still weighing him down, continues to display more consistent effort now that his shot has begun to fall. He had a nice third effort he hasn't shown since last regular season.
The artists formerly known as Ron Artest grappled with Harrison Barnes, getting him up to speed with NBA-game level intensity real quick. Grappled is such a fitting description for World Peace's defense. He bumps, holds, and shoves all simultaneously.
The Warriors bench had a bounce-back game without the services of Shaun Livingston (out; rest), holding down the lead for the entire fourth. The Lakers made a few pointless baskets to bring the score closer.
Ian Clark finished with four blocks, and probably stole Mario Huertas' soul on his last one. So that happened.