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Lakers show they have a lot of work to do on defense in exhibition loss

Lakers show they have a lot of work to do on defense in exhibition loss
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant battles Warriors point guard Stephen Curry for a loose ball during their exhibition game Thursday night at Staples Center. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Kobe Bryant continued to play well. The same couldn't be said about the Lakers.

Specifically, their defense.

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The Golden State Warriors shot an alarming 67.7% in the first half Thursday and cruised to a 120-105 exhibition victory at Staples Center.

It isn't quite one-third into October, and the regular season is more than two weeks away, but some things still need fixing around here.

And nobody can blame Mike D'Antoni.

"I was a little disappointed," Lakers Coach Byron Scott said. "As I told our guys in the locker room, winning in the NBA is not easy. You've got to sacrifice, you've got to come to work every day, you've got to bust your butt and the bottom line for us is we've got to play harder than we played [Thursday]."

Where were the breakdowns?

"Everywhere," Scott said. "Guys were just getting beat off the dribble too easy."

Steve Nash sat out so he could rest and Jordan Clarkson didn't finish the game because of a strained left calf, but it wasn't a pointless night for the Lakers.

Bryant had 15 points and three assists in 23 minutes, his second solid outing in as many exhibitions.

He started his night by knocking down a mid-range fadeaway from the left side. His next shot wasn't so great, barely hitting the rim on another mid-range attempt.

He followed that up with a seamless catch-and-shoot near the free-throw line and, as if to remind everyone he wasn't faultless, air-balled a long jumper.

Bryant, defended primarily by Andre Iguodala, then stole the ball from Stephen Curry and finished with a two-handed dunk at the other end. After that, he found Jeremy Lin for an easy transition basket before finishing with a jumper over Brandon Rush and a late-arriving Ognjen Kuzmic.

He had 10 points in the game's first 11 minutes.

"Honestly, I feel very comfortable," he said. "I'll try and experiment with different things just to see where it's [all] at but I feel more than comfortable."

Lin had 14 points on four-for-four shooting and added four assists in Nash's starting spot.

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Klay Thompson and Curry combined for 45 points and also eight-for-10 accuracy from three-point range.

Curry's four-point play gave the Warriors a 90-69 lead with 2:52 left in the third quarter.

Nash optimism

Steve Kerr, the first-year coach of the Warriors, believes Nash will flourish this season.

"He's the hardest working guy that I've ever seen in the NBA," said Kerr, the Suns' general manager for three years that Nash was there.

"And I know that Father Time is undefeated and all that stuff. But I just think with Steve, there's probably a karma involved. It's his final season. That will free him up a little bit emotionally."

Nash hasn't officially said this will be his final season but he is in the final part of a three-year, $28-million contract.

New seats

The Laker Girls aren't where they used to be.

A new NBA rule has forced them to move from their familiar position near the baskets to seats that are 20 feet from the court.

The league-wide rule was designed to increase on-court safety and also trimmed the number of baseline photographers by almost 20%.

Twitter: @mike_bresnahan

Times staff writer Broderick Turner contributed to this report.

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