These Pacific Division rivals have split two meetings and are facing different issues heading into Saturday night's matchup in Oakland.
Los Angeles (13-13) responded to the news that Bryant will miss at least six weeks because of a fracture in his left knee with a 104-91 home win over Minnesota on Friday. Pau Gasol had 21 points and 13 boards as the Lakers improved to 11-9 without their best player, who missed the first 19 games.
''I mean, we started without him, and right now unfortunately we're without him again," said Xavier Henry, who also scored 21. "But we know we can play. We know we can win games, and we have the confidence that we have other people that can do the job.''
Golden State (14-13), meanwhile, has lost five of eight as Curry has had a difficult stretch handling the ball. The Warriors star is averaging 28.5 points in that span, but has also averaged 5.1 turnovers - he is averaging an NBA-worst 4.2.
"It's on all of us, not one of us," Thompson said. "Just being careless with the ball, not making the fundamental play, that's all it comes down to."
Thompson is scuffling through a five-game stretch in which he is shooting 35.0 percent while failing to reach 20 points in any of them.
"I know I'm going to break out of it," Thompson said. "All I gotta do is play hard and stay focused."
The Los Angeles native is averaging 20.6 points against the Lakers for his highest against any team. He scored a career-high 38 in a 125-94 rout of Los Angeles on Oct. 30 that represented the Warriors' largest victory in an opener.
The Lakers evened the season series by winning 102-95 at home Nov. 22. Curry sat that one out with a concussion.
Gasol and Nick Young combined for 45 points to key that victory and Los Angeles got 46 from that duo Friday. Young was one point shy of a season high with 25 while Henry became the fourth player to start at point guard.
"They understand the moment and they understand that this is their opportunity,'' coach Mike D'Antoni said.
The Warriors, meanwhile, have to be wondering how to get Harrison Barnes untracked. The second-year forward has totaled 16 points on 5-of-18 shooting in his last three games after the second scoreless effort of his career Thursday.
"I just couldn't get in a rhythm," he said. "The only person I can blame on that is myself so I just have to get it back tomorrow."
Barnes has begun the last two contests on the bench since Andre Iguodala has returned after missing 12 due to a right hamstring injury. Iguodala, though, has just eight points in the two games.
- Sports & Recreation
- Golden State Warriors
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Stephen Curry
- Kobe Bryant
- Los Angeles