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Final Score: Warriors outgun wounded Lakers 115-101 in Oakland

The Lakers didn’t have two of their stars and the Warriors made them pay for it in the end to take a 2-1 regular season series lead

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors suffocated the Los Angeles Lakers in a thrilling 115-101 battle. It went as back and forth as a 14 point blowout can be, as the short-handed Purple-and-Gold fought bravely despite lacking LeBron James and Lonzo Ball.

All-Star Klay Thompson returned from his one game illness absence and led the team with 28 points. Kevin Durant had 21 points and DeMarcus Cousins had 18.

First half

Steph Curry couldn’t hit the ocean with a beach ball in the first half. The Splash Brother had his super soaker jammed, missing all seven of his shot attempts, including five misfires from beyond the arc. But the Lakers couldn’t keep three other All-Stars quiet, as Thompson poured in 23 points, Kevin Durant tossed in 15 of his own, and Cousins added 9.

The Warriors couldn’t quite make their separation from the Lakers early on, in part because of an inspired performance from L.A. point guard Rajon Rondo. With starting PG Lonzo Ball out with injury, there was no one to limit Rondo’s minutes and he took full advantage. He handled the ball like a true wily vet, orchestrating L.A.’s offense to a respectable 46% shooting from the field after two quarters. He had 9 points and 5 assists by the half and defensively played what appeared to be a one man zone, guessing where the action would be before hawking in.

It was clear the Lakers wanted to show their victory on Christmas was no fluke. Draymond Green rolled his ankle late in the second quarter and slowly limped off of the court: yikes.

Warriors 63, Lakers 58

Second half

Curry missed a technical free throw early in the third, and he held his form in disbelief. Was his shot sleeping?

From there it was a quarter of runs. The two teams surged back and forth in dueling mini-runs with some serious highlights. The Lakers seemed to take the game under control midway through the period, until Cousins unleashed the rage of a giant.

Oracle Arena exploded and the energy poured into into Golden State’s heroes.

The fourth quarter was a combination of the Lakers running out of useful players with James and Ball on the sideline, and the Warriors finally getting the lid unscrewed on that can of whup-ass they carry around.

Curry ended with 14 points, scoring 12 in the final frame in a spectacular flurry. Andre Iguodala had 17 points off the bench and was in a Finals MVP sort of mood.

What an entertaining game to get you ready for the Super Bowl weekend! #beatLA?

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