LOS ANGELES — Behind Pau Gasol’s most productive and efficient game of the season, the Los Angeles Lakers were able to defeat the Golden State Warriors 102-95.
On a night that Gasol was pledging $1,000 for every point that he scored to the UNICEF relief efforts in the aftermath of the Super Typhoon Haiyan. The 33-year-old scored 24 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field to go along with 10 rebounds which put his donation total at $24,000.
“I defintely had the motivation of scoring points tonight for the Philippines,” Gasol said, who had his third 20-point and 10-rebound game and seventh double-double of the season. “But once I started knocking down those outside shots it opened things up for me so then I could attack off the dribble. They didn’t know what was going to come at them.
Gasol got started offensively in the first quarter, scoring 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field that included a sweeping hook shot, which is something that he has not shown much of in his offensive repertoire of late.
After the first quarter, Los Angeles led 22-21 in large part to due to holding Golden State to 30 percent shooting from the field and29 percent from 3-point range. As for Gasol, he continued his hot shooting into the second quarter as he scored six of 16 first half points with the Lakers shooting 55 percent from the field that help them get a 47-41 halftime lead over the Warriors.
In the third quarter, the Warriors went on a 10-2 run to trim the Lakers’ lead to one point afterKlay Thompson’s 3-pointer, but Los Angeles responded by outscoring Golden State 14-3 for the final four minutes of the quarter.
That late quarter surge included a 12-0 run that had 10 of the points from Nick Young and Jordan Farmar. The two Southern California natives played impressive games as Farmar scored 14 with eight assists in 19 minutes on the floor, and Young scored a season-high 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field in 31 minutes played.
The chemistry was evident between the two as they fed off each other’s energy and high level of play when they were both on the floor together.
“He is a fun guy to play with,” Farmar said. “He had the energy going and the crowd going. Once he starts smiling and feeling good about himself it’s kind of contagious. So you try to get going early and ride the wave.”
Young felt that chemistry between the two was built when both played on the same AAU team during their high school days that has helped them become an effective duo on the court.
“He has it going,” Young said of Farmar. “We’ve been playing together for awhile, so we already had that chemistry coming in. I feel comfortable when I’m out there with him.”
In the fourth quarter the Lakers held on to their double digit lead and extended it to as many as 16 points, but as for head coach Mike D’Antoni, he was impressed by the ball movement and the team’s defense that forced Golden State to shoot 42 percent from the field for the game.
“I thought most of the game was pretty good. I though the ball movement was good,” D’Antoni said, the win on Friday gave Los Angeles their first winning streak of the season. “We had some guys that made some big shots, Nick Young especially. Also Shawne Williams had a couple of threes that broke it open. I thought all night our defense was good, (with) things we talk about such as running them off the threes and stuff.”
The Warriors on Friday night were without Stephen Curry, who was still out as he is still dealing with concussion like symptoms. As for Los Angeles along with Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant still out rehabbing their respective injuries, Chris Kaman did not play as he is still having back problems.
The Lakers’ win leaves them with a 6-7 record as they look to get back to .500 with the Sacramento Kings in town on Sunday night.
As he started at point guard for the second consecutive game in place of Curry, Warriors guard/forward Andre Iguodala had his night end early as he exited Friday’s game after suffering a strained left hamstring.
“Yeah, that’s what I felt. so that’s why I was so concerned,” Iguodala said, who finished the game with six points with six assists in 27 minutes played. “I knew it was something. Normally I can just run it off, or it’ll go away, but once I heard a ‘pop,’ I knew it was serious.”
This a huge blow early in the season for the Warriors as they are already without Curry, and now without their big acquisition this past offseason now out at least the next couple of weeks, it could a sign of trouble that lies ahead of them.
For Golden State this season, the 29-year-old is averaging 13.5 points, 6.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds per game on a career-high 56 percent shooting from the field including making 48 percent of his three-point attempts.
“It’s not even (something that I could be) walking (on) right now, so we’re going to have an MRI tomorrow morning,” Iguodala said. “This one kind of worries me. I’ll take it seriously… I’ll be back sooner than people think.”
Photo Credit: Lakers.com