They say injuries are no excuse for losing. If any team has a case against this phrase, it’s the Lakers. Over the last two years, no team has been haunted by injuries more than the Lakers. And facing a match-up against one of the top tier Western Conference teams in the Golden State Warriors, not being at full strength put the Lakers behind the eight ball from the start. By the end of the night, the Warriors had run the Lakers ragged, finishing with a victory.
The Lakers most recent setback came when Pau Gasol was ruled out just a few hours before the game with an upper respiratory infection. Pair him with the recently injured Kobe Bryant, as well as Steve Blake, Steve Nash, and Jordan Farmar and the Lakers were undermanned all night. After a valiant effort at the start, trailing by just one at the half and four at halftime, the Warriors blew the doors open in the second half.
It wasn’t a pretty effort by either team. The two teams totaled 40 turnovers, shot just a combined 35.9%, and put on a snore-fest of a third quarter. The Lakers scored just 31 points between the second and third quarters, shot just 4 of 20 from three, and were never competitive in the second half.
Early on, the Lakers looked nothing like a team that would be blown out, holding a lead as late as midway through the second quarter. While neither team played great, the Lakers defense was keeping them in the game, as they forced a slew of turnovers. However, their inability to score off the turnovers negated the advantage. Add in the 21-4 run the Warriors went on in the 3rd quarter and the Lakers’ fate had been sealed.
Nick Young continued his streak of hot play, keeping the Lakers somewhat competitive in the 3rd and 4th quarters. His 20 points paced the way for all players on the night, highlighted by his 9 for 12 shooting at the foul line. His involvement in a scuffle with Marreese Speights led to Speights ejection for a flagrant two foul.
But Swaggy P’s performance was no where near enough to keep the Lakers in the lead. In his first start since the middle of November, Chris Kaman put up 17 shots, connecting on just 5 of them. Jordan Hill was the only offensive player who had a respectable offensive performance, shooting 6 of 11 for 14 points while grabbing 10 rebounds.
Jodie Meeks and Xavier Henry added 13 points themselves, but as was the case with all the Lakers tonight, combined to shoot just 6 of 20.
The Lakers have a day off before hosting Phoenix on Monday.
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