Warriors stay focused against hurting Lakers

Dave Del Grande, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Having lost two nights earlier to a San Antonio Spurs team missing its three best players, the Golden State Warriors knew exactly how to respond when informed before Saturday night's game that the Los Angeles Lakers would be without big man Pau Gasol.
"We were definitely not letting our guard down tonight," Warriors power forward David Lee said.
And they surely didn't, especially on the defensive end, on the boards and during a 21-4 third-quarter run that broke open a close game and led to a 102-83 victory over the short-handed Lakers.
"I told the guys we don't want to let any more opportunities slip," said Warriors coach Mark Jackson, whose club was coming off a 104-102 home loss to a San Antonio team without stars Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan. "We were playing a team we should beat in our building."
The Warriors held the Lakers to 2-of-13 shooting from the field during a 7:15 stretch of the third quarter as Golden State took advantage of a team playing without five key players, including Kobe Bryant (broken leg) and Gasol (upper respiratory infection).
The win was the third in a row at home for the Warriors (15-13) over their in-state rivals and prevented the Lakers (13-14) from overtaking them in the Pacific Division standings.
"We ran out of gas," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We gave ourselves a chance for a while. Somebody had to step out (offensively) and we just didn't have it."
The Warriors led 46-42 at halftime and 51-46 in the third minute of the third quarter before their offense and defense clicked simultaneously for the first time all night, leading to the breakaway spurt.
Six different Warriors scored during the 21-4 run, including center Andrew Bogut, who spiked home a lob by guard Stephen Curry for a 62-48 lead with 4:35 left in the quarter, and backup power forward Marreese Speights, who had six of the team's final eight points in the flurry.
By the time backup center Robert Sacre ended the Lakers' 2-of-13 shooting, four-turnover sequence with a driving layup with 1:53 left in the quarter, the Warriors were up 72-52 and well on their way to their second win on a five-day, three-game homestand.
"I thought the team did a good job of staying in the game with defense when we weren't making shots," said Lee, who posted his eighth consecutive double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. "We have pretty good shooters. I'm confident (those shots) are eventually going to go in if we can stay in the game defensively."
The Lakers never got closer than 15 points in the fourth quarter, which featured the ejection of Speights for a flagrant foul on Lakers backup shooting guard Nick Young.
Bogut had a season-best 20 rebounds to go with 12 points for the Warriors, who outrebounded the Lakers 55-50. Curry (18 points, nine assists) and Klay Thompson (17 points) also scored in double figures for Golden State, as did Speights, who had 10 off the bench.
The Warriors' defensive effort was one of their best of the season. They allowed the Lakers to shoot just 32.5 percent from the field -- the low for a Warriors opponent this year. The 83 points allowed were their third fewest for a Golden State foe and came after it had allowed 12 of its previous 15 opponents to reach triple figures.
"We realized we had to get back to who we are and that was defending," Jackson said. "We made multiple effort plays, disrupted what they were doing, communicated on defense and then limited them to one shot -- all things that made us a dangerous team by all the preseason analysts and experts. Great to see."
Young overcame 5-for-18 shooting from the field to score 20 points to top the Lakers, who were coming off a 104-91 home win over Minnesota on Friday night.
Lakers big men Jordan Hill (14 points, 10 rebounds) and Chris Kaman (10 points, 17 rebounds) matched their Golden State counterparts with double-doubles, and starting guards Xavier Henry and Jodie Meeks added 13 points apiece.
Kaman started in place of Gasol, who played in Friday's win over Minnesota but then came up sick. He is expected to return for the next game on Monday at Denver.
"They kind of forced us to play a different game," Young said of the high-energy Warriors' defensive effort that forced 24 Lakers turnovers. "Me, X (Henry) and Jodie (Meeks) kind of aren't used to having all the pressure."
NOTES: The Warriors, who opened their season with a 125-94 win at Oracle Arena over the Lakers, swept their two home games over the perennial Western Conference power for the first time since 1994-95. ... C Andrew Bogut's 20-rebound game was the ninth of his career. ... The 83 points and 32.5 percent shooting from the field were season lows for the Lakers. ... With regular starters PG Steve Nash, SG Kobe Bryant and C Pau Gasol out of action, the Lakers started their 12th different lineup in the season's 27th game. ... The Lakers and Warriors have played three times this season. Golden State has yet to see Bryant, who has played only six games. ... The Lakers were playing the second night of their seventh back-to-back sequence already this season. They've split games in all seven sets. ... On their three-game homestand that ended Saturday night, the Warriors missed the New Orleans Pelicans' second- and fifth-leading scorers (PF Anthony Davis and SG Tyreke Evans), the San Antonio Spurs' Nos. 1, 2, and 4 scorers (PG Tony Parker, C Tim Duncan and SG Manu Ginobili) and two of the Lakers' top three scorers (Gasol and Bryant).

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