Rapid Reaction: Lakers 102, Warriors 95

November, 22, 2013
11/22/13
10:15
PM PT
McMenamin By Dave McMenamin
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers lost by 31 points the last time they played the Golden State Warriors, in the second game of the season. It has, by far, been their worst defeat, in terms of margin, this season.

On Friday, they pulled off their most impressive win so far against those same Warriors, who came into the game with the fourth-best record in the Western Conference.

Warriors coach Mark Jackson was asked before the game what has changed in the Lakers from late October until now.

"The same concerns," Jackson said of his game plan for the Lakers. "Obviously Pau [Gasol], his ability to score on the block, on the perimeter creates problems. His ability to make plays. ..."

Gasol went on to have his finest game of the season, putting up 24 points and 10 rebounds on 11-of-19 shooting.

"... Same issues at the point-guard position, the problems that they create," Jackson continued. "Steve Nash not playing, but Steve Blake playing the way he is capable of playing. ..."

Blake's streak of four straight games of 10-plus assists ended, but he finished with 14 points and five assists to set the pace.

"... Jordan Farmar's ability to come off the bench and impact the game, and then the scorers that they have on the wings, a knock-down shooter in Jodie Meeks. So, the same concerns. ..."

Farmar put up 14 points and eight rebounds in 18 minutes. Nick Young, one of those wings that Jackson mentioned, had 21 points. Meeks added two more 3-pointers to his season total.

" ... I don't think they've changed at all."

No, maybe not yet. Maybe "change" is too strong of a word. The pieces are all the same, after all. But somehow, those pieces seem to be fitting together better than before.

How it happened: The Lakers had a nine-point lead at the half before going cold to start the third quarter, allowing the Warriors to tie it up. That's when Farmar and Young got cooking and put L.A. back up by 12 heading into the fourth. The Lakers pushed the lead all the way up to 16 before settling for a seven-point win.

What it means: It took them 13 games to do it, but the Lakers finally have their first win streak (albeit a meager two) of the 2013-14 season. After some rocky times early on, the team clearly has some momentum in its favor, especially with Kobe Bryant's return on the horizon.

Hits: The Lakers shot 11-for-24 on 3-pointers as a team (45.8 percent).

L.A. had only 14 turnovers compared to 19 for Golden State.

Misses: Chris Kaman (sore back) did not play.

Xavier Henry was 1-for-5 for three points.

L.A. was outrebounded 50-36.

Stat of the game: $24,000. That's the amount of money Gasol will donate to Philippines relief through UNICEF, $1,000 for every point. Former Lakers coach Phil Jackson pledged an additional $50 per point and $50 per rebound to Gasol's efforts, accounting for another $1,700 for the cause.

Up next: The Lakers host the Sacramento Kings (4-7) on Sunday. A win would put them back at .500 heading into a three-game trip through Washington, Brooklyn and Detroit.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Kobe Bryant
PTS AST STL MIN
24.6 4.9 1.4 35.4
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Hill 8.3
AssistsK. Bryant 4.9
StealsR. Price 1.4
BlocksE. Davis 1.2