It wasn’t the prettiest rout, but it’s a win nonetheless.
“It was one of the worst basketball games I’ve ever seen in my life,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “We were awful, and they were awful, the people who bought tickets should get their money back honestly. I’m not trying to make a joke. It was a horrible game.”
Kerr says he was displeased with their ball security (18 turnovers) and the fact they never sustained long stretches of offensive dominance.
“I don’t know, everyone had too much turkey last night,” he said.
This statement caught some players by surprise.
“I don’t think it was very good,” Draymond Green said. “I think we could have did a lot better than we were, but I don’t know if it was the worst basketball game ever. But he’s the coach.”
The last time the Warriors were in this building, the Lakers pulled off an upset that resulted in an unexpected 20-point thumping. Golden State (14-2) returned the favor on Wednesday by blowing out their division foe by 43 points at Oracle Arena. Los Angeles (8-9) tried to reintroduce that fight from the first meeting but was outdueled.
The Lakers didn’t have enough firepower with D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle (hip) and Nick Young (toe) unavailable. That’s 40 percent of their scoring production in street clothes -- and the Warriors took advantage.
“It looked like a Thanksgiving food hangover,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “You know Golden State is obviously a premiere team in this league and I didn’t even think they were great tonight.”
However, the win was an afterthought for Golden State considering what occurred in the third quarter.
Green suffered a left ankle contusion late in the third and would not finish the game. The incident occurred when Green inadvertently kicked teammate Ian Clark in the throat while Clark was on the ground. It had appeared as if Green turned his ankle before collapsing to the hardwood.
Both players stayed on the floor in pain for several minutes. The arena was quiet. Green was holding his ankle and Clark clutching his throat, while teammates gathered around in support.
Green was the first to get up, and he limped on his own power to the bench before heading to the locker room for good. Soon after, Clark was able to rise to his feet and followed Green to the locker and would not return. Green played 26 minutes and provided 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists. He did not finish the last game against the Lakers on Wednesday after sustaining a left corneal abrasion.
The Warriors host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday and Green says his ankle is still sore, but he’s going to try to give it a go.
“That’s the plan,” Green said. “So, see how I feel tomorrow but I plan on playing. If I just can’t go and it’s hurting that bad, then I’ll sit out. But as of right now, I plan on going.”
The team is unsure of Clark’s status for Saturday.
“He seems to be doing fine,” Green said of Clark. “I think he definitely got the worst end of the stick, but I think he’s doing pretty good.”
With Green out, the Lakers managed to cut what was a 22-point deficit to 12 with five minutes remaining. Los Angeles capitalized after Green's exit, but that was the extent of the trimming. The Warriors shot 52 percent from the field and 39 percent from 3-point range. They dished out 31 assists, the 10th consecutive game they’ve distributed 30 or more.
“We have games like that where it’s kind of sloppy,” Durant said, “but I think toward the end of the game we executed.”
The sold-out Staples Center crowd was greeted with the ultimate Black Friday gift in the second quarter.
Curry was all alone on the break and missed a wide-open, one-handed slam dunk. The crowd absolutely let him have it. The Jumbotron replayed the dunk attempt moments later, and all Curry could do was laugh.
“I had no second-guesses about that,” Curry said. “I’ve missed dunks before and obviously I want those two points, but it’s easy to kind of laugh it off. I count small victories. I didn’t get hung, so that’s good.”
A Warriors error was the Lakers’ only true highlight. In the third, Curry stole the ball from Jose Calderon and again had a wide-open transition opportunity. But this time he went with the layup.
“I smacked the glass as hard as I could the second time just to prove a point,” he said laughing.