Lakers are routed as Warriors set record with 16th win in a row to start a season
History was created Tuesday with the Lakers on the court.
It wasn’t the type their franchise was built upon, continuing an unsettling downward spiral that has chewed them into tiny pieces since they acquired Dwight Howard and Steve Nash in the seemingly perfect summer of 2012.
The Golden State Warriors pasted the Lakers on Tuesday, 111-77, setting an NBA record with 16 consecutive victories to start the season.
The Lakers, clearly at the other end of the basketball scale, fell to 2-12, their worst mark through 14 games since 1957.
Kobe Bryant had four points and made only one of 14 attempts (7.1%), tying his worst shooting night ever when taking more than four shots. He was also one for 14 last November against San Antonio.
Not even Bryant’s methodical, prolonged warm-up could help the 37-year-old break out of a season-long slump.
“Man, it’s cold in here,” he said to no one in particular three hours before tipoff, making his way around the court and shooting from seemingly every angle.
He missed his first five shots in the game, including two air-balled three-point attempts at Oracle Arena. Cold, indeed.
Then he missed his next eight shots after making a three-pointer. He did not play in the fourth quarter. The Lakers trailed by 34 after three.
Bryant said his off night had to do with the team’s overall play — blown defensive coverages, unnamed players not running the offense, etc.
“I’m just kind of frustrated with what we were doing,” Bryant said. “It bothered me so I got out of my Zen tonight.”
Lakers Coach Byron Scott said he still had “a lot of faith” in Bryant and wouldn’t reduce his minutes to try to increase his efficiency. He did want fewer three-point shots from Bryant, who missed six of seven.
Bryant claimed he would rebound from this, which sounded familiar, perhaps hauntingly, from some of his other poor nights this season.
“I’m fine. Honestly,” Bryant said. “My shooting will be better. We’ll be better. I could have scored 80 tonight and it wouldn’t have made a damn difference. I could be out there averaging 35 points a game and we’d be, what, 3-11? We’ve got to figure out how to play systematically in a position that’s going to keep us in a ball game.”
Jordan Clarkson didn’t do much (four points, two-for-11 shooting), Roy Hibbert too (two points, 0-for-3 shooting), and nobody scored more than 10 for the Lakers.
A couple of days before the game, Bryant left open the possibility of an upset against Golden State.
“I’ve seen stranger things happen,” he said, but there was nothing odd or unusual about Tuesday’s game. The Lakers continued to play poor defense and the Warriors continued to score at will.
The Warriors had 10 assists in the first quarter. The Lakers had none. The score was 30-11.
Stephen Curry had 24 points for the Warriors, who passed the 15-0 starts of the Houston Rockets in 1993-94 and Washington Capitols in 1948-49.
At least one piece of the Lakers’ past was satisfied.
Luke Walton has guided the Warriors as their interim coach while Steve Kerr recovers from off-season back surgery. “I almost feel guilty a little bit because this should be Steve doing this right here. He loves it so much that he should be having the time of his life right now,” Walton said.
Walton, 35, won championships with the Lakers as a role player in 2009 and 2010.
There was a line of Lakers employees who briefly hugged Walton after the game — longtime trainer Gary Vitti, Scott and Bryant. It was their brush with history for the night.
Somehow, last year’s 21-61 record might seem like an achievement.
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