Rapid Reaction: Lakers 104, Warriors 95

October, 5, 2013
10/05/13
9:48
PM PT
Shelburne By Ramona Shelburne
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
ONTARIO, Calif. -- It has been a while since the Los Angeles Lakers won a preseason game. No, really, it has been a long, long time. It last happened Oct. 22, 2010, to be precise. In 2011, they lost both exhibition games they played in the lockout-shortened exhibition season. Last season, they famously went 0-8 in the preseason, leading to the eventual demise of coach Mike Brown after five games of the regular season.

"I've never won a preseason game," Lakers second-year center Robert Sacre said before Saturday's exhibition opener against the Golden State Warriors. "So that will be a nice thing one day."

In all, it had been nearly three years since the Lakers won a preseason game, beating these same Golden State Warriors, at this same at Citizen's Business Bank Arena.

At long last, and possibly signifying very little except that it felt good for a night, that 10-game preseason losing streak is over. With vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss making a rare public appearance in courtside seats, the Lakers beat the Warriors 104-95.

How it happened: Nick Young had 17 points and Xavier Henry had 29 points as the Lakers looked surprisingly good against Golden State, the team fast becoming everybody's favorite sleeper pick to win the Western Conference.

Jordan Farmar had 12 points and seven assists after drawing the loudest ovation of the night in his first game back with the Lakers.

What it means: It's always hard to gauge much of anything from preseason games -- except when the team goes 0-8. It's actually more instructive to look at which players got minutes, and how many they got, to see who is really in contention to make the regular-season roster. Henry, Shawne Williams, and Wesley Johnson played significant minutes. Elias Harris, Dan Gadzuric and Marcus Landry didn't get into the game until the fourth quarter. Darius Johnson-Odom and Eric Boateng didn't play at all.

Hits: The Lakers have been championing Young's defensive abilities in training camp, but let's not kid ourselves. The guy is on the team because he can score. A lot. And quickly. Saturday night he poured in 17 points, 14 of which came in the second quarter.

Misses: Fans who expected to see one of the Lakers three future Hall of Famers. Neither Steve Nash nor Pau Gasol played in Saturday's exhibition opener, both opting to wait until Sunday's exhibition game at Staples Center against Denver. Kobe Bryant was in Germany undergoing a medical procedure.

Stat of the night: 33. That's the number of wins the Lakers are being projected to win this year by sports books in Las Vegas.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Nick Young
PTS AST STL MIN
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 9.7
AssistsK. Marshall 8.8
StealsJ. Meeks 1.4
BlocksP. Gasol 1.5