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Warriors pull away from Lakers and now have NBA's best record

The Lakerslost a second straight game to the Warriors on Friday, 109-85, and fell to 8-9 on the season.

The Lakers faced the Golden State Warriors for the third time in three weeks Friday — the second time in three days — and a less dramatic affair than either of the first two occurred, with neither team especially inspired. 

Playing without three starters, some of the Lakers’ old demons returned as the Warriors beat the short-handed home team, 109-85, at Staples Center.

"It was one of the worst basketball games I've seen in my life," Warriors Coach Steve Kerr said. "We were awful, and they were awful. The people who bought tickets should get their money back, honestly. … Everyone had too much turkey last night, neither team practiced, they were without half their team. … At least they had an excuse."

Golden State improved to 14-2 and has now won 10 consecutive games, with their most recent loss coming Nov. 4 against the Lakers.

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The Lakers, meanwhile, fell to 8-9 after a game that left Lakers Coach Luke Walton appreciative of at least one blessing. 

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"No," Walton said without hesitation, when asked if he would miss the Warriors. "I have their phone numbers. I'm very thankful, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, that we do not see them for a long, long time."

The teams won't meet again until the final game of the regular season on April 12.

The Lakers made only 35.6% of their shots and 22.7% from three-point range, while the Warriors shot better than 50% for the second consecutive game. Both teams committed 18 turnovers.

Kevin Durant led the Warriors with 29 points and nine assists while Stephen Curry added 24 and Klay Thompson added 18. Jordan Clarkson, making his first start of the season, led the Lakers with 20 points, but no other L.A. starter reached double figures. 

Three of the Lakers’ regular starters — point guard D’Angelo Russell (left knee), power forward Julius Randle (hip pointer) and shooting guard Nick Young (sprained toe) — sat out the game. In their place the Lakers started Clarkson, Jose Calderon and rookie Brandon Ingram.

"We're all playing with new guys, new lineups, stuff like that," Clarkson said. "We [were] shooting it when we should be passing it, and passing it when we should be shooting it."

In his second career start, Ingram played well defensively, notching two steals and nine rebounds. He struggled to make shots, though, making only three of 18 from the field.

"I was more aggressive, got better on the defensive end," Ingram said. "I missed a couple shots that I can make, but overall I think I was aggressive."

The Lakers opened the game with a 5-0 run, but the Warriors quickly recovered in familiar fashion. With Golden State trailing, 12-10, Curry and Durant made back-to-back three-pointers to give the Warriors a four-point lead.

They never trailed again.

Curry, who had only seven points at halftime on two-for-nine shooting, added five rebounds and five assists to his 24 points. His most notable play came in the second quarter when he missed a fastbreak dunk. His teammates teased him for it, and when the Lakers replayed it on their video board, Curry looked up and laughed.

When these teams met Nov. 4, it was Walton’s first shot at the team where he got his start as an NBA coach. The Lakers led the entire game and won, 117-97.

When they met Wednesday, it was Walton's first trip back to Oracle Arena, and the Warriors dominated from start to finish in a 149-106 romp. They showed the Lakers what they strive to be, sharing the ball so well they finished with a franchise-record 47 assists.

"I told our film guy that I would throw him out of our room if he put that game on our laptop," Walton said before Friday's game. "I've re-watched the first game we played against them, but not that one from Oakland."

Friday's game, the day after Thanksgiving, lacked the energy and emotion of either previous matchup.

Said Walton: "It looked like a Thanksgiving food hangover."

Twitter: @taniaganguli

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