(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
History made another appearance at Staples Center and it had nothing to do with Shaquille O’Neal and Elgin Baylor watching from the crowd.
The Lakers lost to the Golden State Warriors, 136-115, and stumbled to a 1-9 record, their worst start ever though 10 games. They’ve been in existence 66 years.
They couldn’t blame it on Kobe Bryant being sick. He seemed fine, scoring 44 points on 15-for-34 shooting.
They couldn’t blame Jordan Hill. He had 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Everything else was fair game, though, the Lakers fortunate they beat Charlotte last week or they’d be sitting at 0-10.
As O’Neal temporarily left his courtside seat, one Lakers fan yelled out, “Suit up, Shaq!”
It was near the midpoint of the second quarter. The Lakers soon trailed by 20.
Their defense continued to be the type witnessed in All-Star games, allowing the Warriors to score 115 points before the fourth quarter began.
Lakers Coach Byron Scott wasn’t happy from the first Warriors basket — a fastbreak alley-oop dunk from Stephen Curry to Andrew Bogut — to their final one. He yelled at his team at halftime and threatened to reduce unspecified players’ minutes if the hustle didn’t improve.
“Our guys were jogging,” he said. “I wasn’t very happy about it. We can’t win that way. Period. . . . Patience is running thin and it has nothing to do with execution.”
There were more signs of a heavily unbalanced offense, the other four starters combining for 35 shots, one fewer than Bryant.
“It’s tough, man,” said Carlos Boozer, who had six points. “We’ve got to find a balance between the two. It can’t be lopsided. We’ve got to find a balance for us to be successful.”
Bryant agreed, as he usually does when disproportion is brought up.
“I’d rather not have to do that, but you can’t just sit back and watch a crime happen in front of you,” he said. “I’m more than willing to sit back. If you think I want to shoot as many times or be as aggressive at 36 years old, you’re freaking crazy.”
Bryant then wrapped up the Lakers’ season in a nutshell, talking about his high degree of responsibility.
“It’s on me. Things go good, it’s us. Things go bad, it’s me,” he said. “That’s the responsibility of being in this seat.”
Jeremy Lin was scoreless with one assist. Boozer missed 10 of 13 shots. Wesley Johnson pulled another disappearing act (six points in 32 minutes).
If nothing else, Bryant looked better against Golden State than he did two days earlier in a one-for-14 effort against San Antonio that was pinned mainly on flu-like symptoms.
But if it seemed like the Warriors have already drubbed the Lakers a million times this season, it was understandable.
Golden State twice beat them badly in exhibition play, including a 116-75 victory that was the Lakers’ second-worst exhibition loss ever.
Then the Warriors jumped them in the fourth game of the regular season, winning by 23, and added Sunday’s walkover.
Stephen Curry had 30 points and 15 assists. Klay Thompson scored 18.
The Lakers now have an unfriendly three-game trip to Atlanta, Houston and Dallas.
They might get Nick Young back Tuesday against the Hawks, so they have that going for them. It’s one of a very, very few things, but it’s something.