The hodgepodge collection of talent the Lakers and Golden State Warriors put on the floor Saturday night at the Valley View Casino Center kept slip, sliding away.
After the fifth slip in the game by Golden State’s Leandro Barbosa in the third quarter, referee Gary Zielinski told Lakers Coach Byron Scott and Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton he was canceling the exhibition game.
The Lakers led, 85-70, when the game was stopped with two minutes 16 seconds left in the third, and Los Angeles got the victory.
“The officials said they weren’t comfortable with the slippage of players,” Scott said after his team improved to 2-4. “They felt that there was a possibility of players getting hurt.”
Four players had slipped in the first half, causing the officials to tell both coaches early in the second quarter that if it happened again, they would consider stopping the game.
As soon as Barbosa went down, the officials huddled up with Scott and Walton and called the game.
The fans booed for a long time after the game was stopped, but the Lakers said fans can get a full refund on their tickets after noon Monday by contacting the seller.
“It was pretty bad,” said Julius Randle, who had 14 points and three rebounds. “On some areas of the court, you had to be cautious. Player safety is first and foremost.”
The game had an odd feeling to it when second-year guard Jordan Clarkson and rookie D’Angelo Russell started in the backcourt, rookie Anthony Brown and second-year player Randle started at forwards and Roy Hibbert at center.
The NBA champion Warriors didn’t have starters Klay Thompson (death in the family), Andrew Bogut (nose injury) and Harrison Barnes (sprained right knee).
And Golden State Coach Steve Kerr wasn’t at the game because he’s still dealing with back issues. Walton has been the Warriors’ interim head coach in place of Kerr.
Walton plans to visit Odom
Ever since Walton learned Lamar Odom had been in a coma and was hospitalized in Las Vegas after he collapsed in a brothel and was found unconscious, Walton said the hardest thing he has ever done is having to deal with his former teammates’ situation.
Walton said Saturday night he felt a little more at ease to learn Odom had been talking and appeared to be making progress.
Walton said he planed on flying to Las Vegas on Sunday to visit with Odom, something he has to do for a friend and teammate he won two NBA championships with when they played for the Lakers.
“It took up everything I had, every bit of energy I had,” Walton said. “I couldn’t stop thinking about him. When they said he got out of the coma, it was like a weight lifted off. I’m able to laugh and smile again. I’m planning on getting out there and trying to see him. It’s an absolute miracle that he’s doing so well right now.”
Kobe Bryant (bruised lower left leg) and Lou Williams (groin injury) didn’t play. The Lakers, who have 19 players on their roster, plan on making cuts Sunday.
Follow Broderick Turner on Twitter @BA_Turner.
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