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.
Jordan Bell with the nifty fastbreak layup through two defenders— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 23, 2017
Andre Iguodala is walking back to the bench slyly signaling traveling toward Bell/coaches
- 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.
END OF Q1: Warriors up 27-24. Durant had 14 points in that first quarter on 5-for-5 shooting.— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) December 23, 2017
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 Green was raring to go after missing five of the last six games. The defensive captain looked spry, donning a protective shoulder sleeve.
Solid first six minutes for Draymond Green. Doesn't appear to show any lingering effects of that shoulder injury.— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) December 23, 2017
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.
Draymond Green's favorite bit of trash-talk he had for Luke Walton tonight: "I got you your job. Better tell your guys over there." pic.twitter.com/q0E7Xjx0yy— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 23, 2017
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.
Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers tonight with a team-high 27 points and 14 rebounds against Golden State. pic.twitter.com/TqUJhuNlx0— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 23, 2017
Kuzma called it a “great honor” when asked what it’s like being mentioned next to West and Baylor in scoring 25+ in 3 straight as rookies, and noted how many great players the Lakers have had. Said his confidence continues to grow.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) December 23, 2017
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.
Anyways, who’s ready for Christmas Day?!
Who was your Warrior Wonder against the Nuggets?
This poll is closed
Javale McGee’s jumpers in garbage time