Stephen Curry, who was listed as a game-time decision, had 25 points, 10 assists, and seven rebounds for the Warriors. He brought out the age of Lakers guard Steve Nash, who just turned 39, as he crossed him over several times in embarrassing fashion.
Nash played well as usual on the offensive end however, finishing with 21 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. But, it wasn’t enough for the Lakers, even with their star-studded team.
Golden State was just too dominant in the first half, taking a 63-40 lead into the locker room at half time. It was too much for the Lakers to overcome even with a big fourth quarter, as the Warriors are a far deeper and better-coached team.
Warriors sixth man Jarrett Jack was big for the Warriors as he usually is in big games. He hit big shots when they needed them, scoring 19 points on the night.
Kobe Bryant scored 36 points and grabbed eight rebounds for L.A., shooting a typical 11-for-27 as he forced shot after shot. He was awarded 16 free throws, most of them coming in the second half. To put that into perspective, the Warriors only shot 19 free throws as a team.
Lakers center Dwight Howard was supposed to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to the promised land. Instead, he’s leading them to an early vacation. Howard had 15 rebounds, but only scored 11 points. It’s hard to believe that Howard won Defensive Player of the Year three times in his career — he looks like he doesn’t have a clue what defense is. The truth is, he probably just doesn’t care as he awaits his big pay day this off-season.
Both Howard and Metta World Peace, who left the game early with a strained left knee, exchanged words with Warriors forward David Lee. Lee and Andrew Bogut were frustrating the Lakers in the paint all night and it was apparent when Howard was hit with a technical foul in the second quarter.
Lee drove to the basket, getting fouled by Howard and elbowing him in the mouth. Howard flipped out on the officials before getting T’d up and then receiving three stitches in the mouth at halftime.
Howard couldn’t let go of the incident after the game. ”He got away with a shot,” Howard said, according to Yahoo! Sports. “I will remember this game. I will remember that shot. He said he wasn’t trying to do it. You can look at the play and see it for yourself. I will take care of it later.”
Funny that he says he will take care of it later. In the two quarters following the play, he stood there like a helpless scarecrow on both ends of the floor and did nothing to help his team as the Warriors rolled onto victory.
Lee had the last laugh with 23 points, 12 rebounds, and a Warriors victory for just the fifth time in 37 games against L.A. and just the third time in 16 games against them at home.
Klay Thompson scored 22 points while knocking down six 3-pointers. Golden State is the best three-point shooting team in the league and finished 10-23 from beyond the arc on the night.
It was a much-needed win for the Warriors against their rivals, showing them that they no longer fear the purple and gold. After the game, Warriors coach Mark Jackson had some powerful words, ”We are the better basketball team. They are in the rear-view mirror and I have not checked it and I will not.”
The Lakers, losers of three in a row, now find themselves just one game up on the Utah Jazz and 1.5 games up on the pesky Dallas Mavericks as they are desperately hanging on to the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.
These two teams face off again in L.A. on April 12. It will be a game worth watching.
You can follow Rich Peters on twitter @Tricky_Roma.