Lakers top Warriors in OT despite Ellis’ 41 points
ONTARIO, Calif. (AP)—After the Los Angeles Lakers accidentally tacked five more minutes onto their preseason with a late rally, they refused to head into their title defense without making that extra effort worth the trip.
Kobe Bryant(notes) scored 22 points, Shannon Brown(notes) hit the go-ahead 3-pointer in overtime, and the Lakers overcame Monta Ellis’(notes) NBA preseason-high 41 points in a 105-102 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.
Ron Artest(notes) made two big baskets in overtime for the Lakers, who used a 9-0 surge to tie it in the final two minutes of regulation before Bryant’s potential game-winning jumper rimmed out at the regulation buzzer. A little extra basketball was welcomed by a raucous crowd at Citizens Business Bank Arena in the Inland Empire east of Los Angeles, and both Brown and Artest acknowledged playing with an unusual amount of energy for the preseason.
“It was very exciting,” said Brown, who scored 18 points while starting in place of Lamar Odom(notes). “Those are the moments that you play for, even in the preseason. The expression on my teammates’ faces when I hit that shot, that’s what you want.”
After Los Angeles erased Golden State’s 14-point lead in the third quarter, both teams used their starters in the final minutes. The Lakers took a 103-100 lead in overtime on Brown’s 3-pointer with 1:21 left, and Artest added a jumper with 11.2 seconds to play while Golden State managed just two points in the final 3 1/2 minutes of overtime.
Golden State guard Stephen Curry(notes) sat out after tweaking his ankle one night earlier, which left Ellis free to take 30 shots while playing all 53 minutes. Ellis’ burst surpassed Amare Stoudemire’s 39 points for New York on Tuesday, but Golden State committed 25 turnovers, 17 after halftime.
Reggie Williams(notes) added 27 points for the Warriors, who wrapped up their first preseason under coach Keith Smart at 4-4 with a markedly new commitment to defense in Don Nelson’s absence. The Lakers also beat Golden State 120-99 Thursday night in San Diego.
“We still have to master not turning the ball over, but as long as we keep playing defense, I think we’ll be all right,” Smart said. “We’re doing a lot of things I like on defense. I like where we are.”
Derek Fisher(notes) scored 13 points and Pau Gasol(notes) added 12 for the Lakers, who left coach Phil Jackson at home for the second straight game with an apparent case of the flu. Assistant coach Brian Shaw ran the Lakers’ bench both nights, perhaps a preview of next season if Jackson follows through on his annual threats to retire.
“It can’t help but build our confidence to finish like that,” Shaw said. “The last preseason game, you want to treat it a little more like the first regular-season game, and I was happy.”
Bryant moved with no obvious limitations after sitting out Thursday night to rest. The two-time NBA finals MVP scored 13 points in the first half and finished strong, despite missing the potential game-winner.
Ellis was on from the opening tip, hitting seven of his first eight shots for 14 first-quarter points. The quiet guard played less than 22 minutes in San Diego due to foul trouble, and Smart apparently was determined to let him run in their finale.
“It’s no problem, because it’s what I train for,” Ellis said. “Playing that much is nothing unusual. Games take less energy than practices. It’s only the preseason, too. The regular season is when it really matters how much you play.”
Ellis propelled Golden State to a 15-point lead in the first half and a 14-point advantage in the third quarter, but a Los Angeles unit consisting of Artest and four reserves opened the fourth quarter with a 16-6 run, tying it on Sasha Vujacic’s(notes) free throws midway through the period.
Ellis pushed the Warriors to a nine-point lead, but Bryant hit two free throws and a layup while Los Angeles scored nine straight points, tying it on Brown’s 3-pointer with 29.9 seconds left.
NOTES: Odom sat out with an injured thumb that isn’t likely to affect him next week. … Lakers F Luke Walton(notes) aggravated his strained right hamstring in the first half and didn’t return. He played just 29 games last season. … Golden State also played without Rodney Carney(notes) and Dorell Wright(notes), who both sat out with knee injuries.