The Los Angeles Lakers closed out a tough month of February on a positive note, winning going away against the Golden State Warriors in a 117-91 victory at Staples Center.
Los Angeles once again relied on sticky defense and getting to the basket offensively as a potent combination.
The Lakers scored a season-high 41 points in the opening quarter and has a season-high 73 points at halftime, leading by as many 29 in the first half.
However, Los Angeles had to guard against letting the Warriors get back into this one. The last time these two teams met, Golden State erased a Los Angeles, 15-point lead in the fourth quarter for a comeback win.
But Stephen Curry and the Warriors could not get anything going in the second half, and the Lakers emptied the bench in the fourth quarter. Curry finished with 16 points.
Damian Jones got his first action with the Lakers in the second half. Signed to a 10-day contract, Jones finished with eight points and three rebounds in eight minutes, including a nice dunk off a lob pass from Dennis Schröder.
Schröder finished with 12 points and six assists.
LeBron James appeared in his 1,300th career regular season contest, tied with Ray Allen for 22nd in NBA history. James posted 19 points, six rebounds and four assists in a season-low 24 minutes.
The Lakers improved to 24-11 on the year, winning their second straight game. The Warriors dropped to 19-16.
Top player: Alex Caruso had a good game on both ends of the floor. Caruso totaled 13 points, four assists, four rebounds and a steal. The Lakers finished with six players in double figures.
What I liked: The Lakers took 38 free throws to Golden State’s 18. Los Angeles finished 26-of-38 from the free throw line. Los Angeles also led in second-chance points (21-7) and fastbreak points (22-13). LeBron James got to watch from the bench in the fourth quarter, getting some much-needed rest.
What I didn’t like: The Lakers were a little sloppy, turning it over 19 times.
Injuries: Anthony Davis remains out until after the All-Star break with a right calf strain, but he did do some stand-still shooting inside the key during pre-game warmups. Draymond Green of Golden State suffered a left ankle sprain in the first half and did not return.
They said it: “Steph changed the game -- that’s the simplest way to put it. He changed everything. The whole mindset of offensively what good shot selection means. He broke that mold entirely and made it a good shot to rise up off screens, but also to shoot with range if you have that type of ability.” – Lakers head coach Frank Vogel on the way Stephen Curry changed the way the game is played in the modern NBA.