Lakers are struck by reality in the form of NBA-leading Golden State and lose 109-88

Lakers are struck by reality in the form of NBA-leading Golden State and lose 109-88
Warriors guard Klay Thompson led Golden State to victory over the Lakers with 36 points during a game at Staples Center on Jan. 5. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

There goes the Lakers' three-game winning streak. And the thinly veiled hope they had "turned the corner" or "flipped the switch" or any other platitudes.

The Golden State Warriors stuck it to the Lakers in an alleged measuring-stick game, running away with a 109-88 victory Tuesday at Staples Center.


Granted, the Lakers were short-handed without Kobe Bryant (sore shoulder) and D'Angelo Russell (sore throat), and the Warriors (33-2) have made many fully stocked teams look silly.

But the Lakers didn't show much resistance from the start, surrendering 22 first-quarter points to Klay Thompson (a person, not a team) and 22 unanswered Golden State points in the third on the way to trailing by 32 entering the fourth.

There were even some boos when Nick Young missed his second free throw in a short span of the second quarter. The booing was for technical fouls 32 seconds apart. People were not amused.

Fans also groaned when Metta World Peace missed a fastbreak layup with three minutes left. He finished with six points on two-for-10 shooting, not his finest outing.

At least no one was pouting.

Before Julius Randle took the court midway through the third quarter, Lakers Coach Byron Scott encouraged him by clapping him on the back twice.

Player-coach crisis ended? Who knows?

Randle continued his unsteady play, scoring two points on one-for-eight shooting. Lou Williams missed all seven of his shots.

Golden State hammered the Lakers in November, 111-77, and this could have gone that way too.

The ball tended to get stuck in the Lakers' hands. This made their attack boring with a lot of isolation plays. It bothered Scott.

"You go against a great team, where you really have to move the ball, and all of a sudden you want to try and do it on your own," he said, doing everything but slapping his forehead. "It's just a matter of guys understanding that we can't win that way. We've been talking about that all season long. Sooner or later, it's going to get through."

Sooner or later, Bryant might return. He missed a third straight game because of his shoulder.

"We want that thing to get well because right now, the way it looks, if he plays, a couple days later it's starting to get sore again," Scott said.

Bryant's status for Thursday's game, his last one at Sacramento, won't be known until that day, Scott said.


Thompson's first-quarter outburst included four three-pointers while being guarded by rookie Anthony Brown, a second-round draft pick last June. Thompson finished with 36 points.

Warriors guard Stephen Curry had 17 points and six assists before leaving for good with 2:46 left in the third quarter.

Scott detailed an interesting observation Tuesday morning, long before tipoff. It had to do with how the Lakers dissolved in way too many games. They go hard in practice but not on the court.

"Guys tend to be a little bit more aggressive and physical with each other and then when they see a different-colored jersey, sometimes you can go the other way," Scott said. "When you're playing against a team that you have no alliances to, you should be going at them even harder."

They didn't go hard at Golden State. Not that anyone was really surprised.

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