The Golden State Warriors faced the ash that remains of the Los Angeles Lakers this season on Thursday. The best available Lakers player is probably Talen Horton-Tucker or Malik Monk, and needless to say, that put Los Angeles at a significant disadvantage. Even the Steph Curry-less Dubs were able to cruise past the Lakers in a 128-112 win despite sleepwalking for most of the game.
The Lakers played with the intensity of players playing for their NBA futures. Throughout the game, particularly early on, Los Angeles was winning every loose ball and outhustling Golden State on both ends of the floor.
Falling behind by nearly ten points in the first quarter, Warriors guard Klay Thompson made sure the gap could not grow any larger. He started heating up towards the end of the first, and that carried into another explosive offensive performance from the taller Splash Brother. Thompson had 23 points in the first half and led the Dubs to a 55-52 halftime lead. He finished with 33 points on 12-for-22 shooting from the field (6-for-10 from three).
Besides Thompson, the Warriors got their best contributions from head coach Steve Kerr’s newest second unit iteration that features Otto Porter Jr., Nemanja Bjelica, Andre Iguodala, and Gary Payton II. Porter was just 4-for-12 from the field, but more than made up for his missed shots with a fantastic all-around performance. Porter had an unexceptional statline, with 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals but finished with a game-high +35 plus/minus.
The Warriors began pushing their lead to double-digits towards the end of the third quarter, and Golden State’s other starters helped put the game away. Andrew Wiggins had another efficient night, scoring 17 points on 7-for-12 shooting. Jordan Poole scored 19 points, ending his 20-point game streak at 17, and recorded a career-high 11 assists.
Los Angeles’ trio of Horton-Tucker, Monk, and Dwight Howard did a commendable job keeping the Lakers within striking distance but ultimately lacked the oompf to deliver a victory. Horton-Tucker recorded 40 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 steals. Monk had 24 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, and 2 highlight-reel blocks. Howard racked up 16 points and 12 rebounds.
The Warriors victory improved their record to 51-29 and maintained their one-game lead over the Dallas Mavericks for the third-seed in the Western Conference. Golden State has one day off before they finish their regular season with back-to-back road games against the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans. They face the Spurs on Saturday, April 9th at 5:30 PM Pacific Standard Time.
Join our Warriors postgame show hosted by Marc Delucchi live on Twitch: