With their two star 7-footers healthy, the Los Angeles Lakers are coming off an outstanding rebounding game. They haven’t had much trouble on the boards against the Golden State Warriors in recent years.
The Lakers travel to Oracle Arena on Saturday night, looking to continue their dominance over a Warriors team that may again be without coach Don Nelson.
“We like to use our height to our advantage,” said Bynum, averaging 19.7 points and 10.9 rebounds.
Los Angeles has outrebounded Golden State (5-9) by an average of 8.1 in wining 14 of the last 16 meetings. The Lakers have also been dominant offensively, averaging 121.8 points in sweeping four games last season.
Though Los Angeles has been winning, it hasn’t been really challenged in since Gasol’s return. The Lakers committed 25 turnovers versus the Knicks after averaging 12.0 in their previous nine.
“We have to do a better job and put in the effort,” Gasol said. “The intensity level just winds down, and we’ve got to continue to play hard for 48 minutes.”
The Warriors have shown signs of improvement, beating Portland and Dallas before losing 118-104 to San Antonio on Wednesday night.
Golden State has played well despite having a banged-up roster. The Warriors have also played the last two without Nelson, who has been diagnosed with pneumonia.
The team announced Friday that the 69-year-old Nelson would miss three more games.
Top assistant Keith Smart will continue to lead the team in place of Nelson, the second-winningest coach in NBA history.
Ellis has played hard with the bench limited due to injuries. He tied a career high with 42 points against the Spurs, one night after scoring 37 in a 111-103 victory at Dallas.
Ellis played all 48 minutes in two straight before finally getting a break against San Antonio, leaving midway through the fourth quarter but coming back in with a little more than 3 minutes left.
“He can get to the basket whenever he wants, that will be there for him,” Smart said. “We have to make sure he’s ready to play every night. If your best player is ready to play every night, that’s when you move to the next guy.”