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Four musings on Warriors’ victory vs. Lakers in Draymond Green’s return

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Green’s near triple-double fortifies Warriors as Jordan Bell balls out of control in starting lineup.

Golden State Warriors v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Four major points popped up for consideration as the Golden State Warriors blew a 20+ point lead, but still outlasted the Los Angeles Lakers, 113 to 106.

Pull out the holiday mugs filled with eggnog and don your Warriors’ beanies! It’s time to reflect on the Dubs’ eleventh straight win AND the first non-overtime Lakers-Warriors contest this season.

Jordan Bell is making a case to start

Bell has been tantalizing Dub Nation with glimpses of his true potential. At the same time, he’s been a source for exasperation with coach Steve Kerr, who wants the rookie to do less preening and more hustling.

The rookie power forward got the start in place of the injured Zaza Pachulia last night. The second-round pick embodied Kerr’s sage advice with a fantastic flurry toward the end of the second quarter.

  • Bell picked the pocket of Lakers guard Lonzo Ball (who is allegedly better than Stephen Curry) before racing the other way into beautiful Eurostep, to an easy layup.

And then Andre Iguodala, the Olympian, lightheartedly hated on the young fella.

  • Kevin Durant missed a long three-point attempt, Bell hustled to tap the miss back to Durant, who found Klay Thompson for a jumper.
  • Bell secured the defensive rebound to start the next possession, missed a dunk attempt, but snatched the ball back for an easy lay-in.

Bell was a physical force all night, using his high motor to impose his will on both ends. He finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and had a team-high plus/minus at +22.

Kevin Durant is impossible to guard

The “SlimVP” came out cooking with hot grease.

Clearly, he remembered his inefficient brick-fest the last time these teams met and wanted to atone. Last night, he tortured his undeveloped clone, Brandon Ingram, repeatedly using nasty handles and veteran footwork to make plays on the young fella.

Durant shouldered the load with 33 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists. It looked like he was going to score every single time he fired a shot. He was able to get to the free-throw line 13 times, converting 12 of them. He looks like he’s ready to treat LeBron James like a Christmas tree and LIGHT HIM UP (again) on Monday.

Draymond’s back!

Draymond Green was raring to go after missing five of the last six games. The defensive captain looked spry, donning a protective shoulder sleeve.

He had 8 rebounds by halftime, and finished close to a triple-double with 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists. He did seem a bit rusty with his passing, which led to six turnovers. Honestly, with an offense as fast and rhythmic as the Warriors have, that number of mistakes is understandable in his first game back. It really felt good to see the heartbeat of the champions back out there barking instructions and directing traffic.

Kyle Kuzma is the greatest Laker OF ALL TIME right now

Of all the young pieces for the Lakers, Kuzma is the only one that legitimately seems to have Kobe Bryant’s blood thirst flowing in his veins. This confident young man came off the bench and was giving the Warriors’ defense fits all evening on his way to 27 points and 14 rebounds. Kuzma may actually prove to be the best young piece of the Lakers intriguing roster puzzle.

This dude might get three jerseys retired by the time his career ends! At the very least, head coach Luke Walton may be forced to insert the young gunner into the starting lineup.

BONUS POINT! The Warriors have spoiled me (#LightYearsRant)

It was awesome to get Green back, and I certainly am giddy over Klay Thompson and Durant leading the Dubs to wins. At the same time, I forgot what it was like for Warriors’ games to remain competitive for the entire contest.

With Curry — AKA the “Unanimous Death Angel” — in the lineup, usually third quarters turn into bloody displays of Golden State’s true power, effectively ending the game well before the fourth quarter concludes.

I guess I’ll just have to get used to seeing close games until we’re back to full strength.

#TheStruggle.

Anyways, who’s ready for Christmas Day?!

Poll

Who was your Warrior Wonder against the Nuggets?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    Jordan Bell
    (338 votes)
  • 9%
    Kevin Durant
    (60 votes)
  • 10%
    Draymond Green
    (67 votes)
  • 5%
    Omri Casspi
    (36 votes)
  • 2%
    Klay Thompson
    (15 votes)
  • 18%
    Javale McGee’s jumpers in garbage time
    (121 votes)
637 votes total Vote Now