It came versus another injury-riddled team, but the Warriors laid a shellacking against the Lakers 149-106 on Wednesday night. The last time the Warriors lost was against these Lakers in early November, but since then, the Warriors have won 9 straight games and morphed into that fearsome juggernaut people were expecting.
The Splash Brothers
In the teams' first meeting, both Steph Curry and Klay Thompson struggled mightily from the field, but they flipped the switch this time around, scoring a combined 57 points on 63% from the field. Not only that but Thompson -- who never seems to find an open Curry in transition -- even whipped a pass to his splash brother for Curry's first three of the game. It's a nightmare scenario for the opposition when Curry, Thompson, and Durant are darting down the court on a fastbreak. Durant's consistently brilliant play continued last night as he put up 28 points on 11-15 shooting. He, Thompson, and Curry combined for 81 points after three quarters. The Lakers had 78 as a whole. More than just scoring, Curry added 9 assists, including this gorgeous no-look bullet pass to Shaun Livingston.
Steph Curry being fancy can be good...https://t.co/Fi9WeeAHEo— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 24, 2016
Historic passing display
As a team, the Warriors recorded a franchise-record 47 assists on 53 field goals. Anthony Slater of the Bay Area News Group helped put into context just how insane the Warriors' passing was in this game.
The Warriors had 26 FIRST HALF assists. No NBA team (except for the Warriors) averages more than 25 per game. The Mavericks average 16.8.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 24, 2016
All this passing has done well to assuage the concerns that the Warriors would become an iso-heavy team to accommodate Durant. However, this egalitarian, selfless style of play is what lured KD to Golden State in the first place, as Head Coach Steve Kerr delineated.
“He came here for a reason,” Kerr said to ESPN. “I think he enjoyed watching us play in recent years and I think he wanted to be a part of it and he fits right in.”
One player in particular who's sacrificing tempting shot attempts and racking up assists is the Warriors' starting power forward, Draymond Green. He made just one shot attempt, but his decision making with the ball was an integral part of the Warriors' historic passing display as he finished the game with 11 assists.
For the second consecutive game, JaVale McGee was the first big man off the bench, perhaps to match the Lakers' athletic front court, and he immediately made an impact. The Warriors' 10th assist of the night came on a lob from Green to McGee, who slammed it home with a rim-rattling dunk. Later on, Curry hit a cutting Green, who drew the double-team and lobbed the ball up for another McGee smash. Green usually seems eager to throw a lob to McGee, the only active big man on the roster who can play above the rim.
Kevon Looney contributed in his own way, finally flaunting that three-point range that made him an intriguing prospect out of college. Patrick McCaw swung a pass to Looney in the corner for the first three-pointer of his career. That's how poorly things were going for the Lakers, who were on the second night of a back-to-back and without leading scorer D'Angelo Russell and rebounding ace Julius Randle.
The Warriors are still a few games away from their next real test against the Clippers, but it's not looking good for even the best teams in the league if the Warriors continue to play like this.