Down two starters, the Los Angeles Lakers played connected and relied on their defense in a convincing, 128-97 road win over the Golden State Warriors on Monday.
The Lakers controlled play by owning the paint, leading by as many as 36 points. The Lakers finished with a 68-40 advantage in paint points.
However, the Warriors stayed within shouting distance behind the hot-shooting hand of Stephen Curry, who had 15 of his game-high 27 points in the opening quarter.
Curry also finished with two assists, passing Guy Rodgers as the Warriors' all-time assists leader.
The Lakers once again were shorthanded, with Anthony Davis, Marc Gasol, Alex Caruso, Jared Dudley and Kostas Antetokounmpo all out against Golden State.
Markieff Morris started for Davis and Damion Jones subbed in for Gasol.
“He’s still just doing light work,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said about Davis, when asked if his timeline to return to court had changed. “He’s beginning to ramp up, and he’ll be revaluated in two weeks. … Nothing has changed.”
The Lakers earned a 2-1 advantage in season series over Golden State with the win, improving to 26-13 overall. The Warriors fell to 20-20 on the year. The Lakers are now 2-0 since returning from the All-Star Break, and 9-7 this season when playing without Davis.
LeBron James totaled 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in 30 minutes -- his fourth triple-double of the season.
Top player: Montrezl Harrell was a spark off the bench again for the Lakers, finishing with a team-high 27 points and five rebounds. The Lakers finished with five players in double figures.
What I liked: The Lakers shot 63 percent from the field and finished with 36 assists on 49 field goals.
What I didn’t like: L.A. turned it over 19 times, allowing Golden State to score 24 points off those miscues.
Injuries: Morris suffered a right knee contusion during the game but was available to return. Caruso is in the NBA’s concussion protocol and was out for the Golden State game. He will also miss Tuesday’s game at home against Minnesota. Same with Gasol and Antetokounmpo, who both remain out due to the NBA’s health and safety protocol. Vogel said Dudley has not decided his course of action for treating the torn MCL in his right knee. Davis remains out for at least the next two weeks with a strained right calf.
They said it: “Obviously, when you play against someone in four straight finals, there’s a competitive edge to the relationship. But it’s seems like they have a mutual respect for each other -- that’s just my observation – and it seemed like they enjoyed being out there on the floor in the same uniform for the first time the other night.” -- Vogel on LeBron James and Stephen Curry playing on the same team during the All-Star game earlier this month.