Entering Friday’s game, the Los Angeles Lakers were a team tethered to the bottom of the Western Conference, and the Golden State Warriors were a team heading for the playoffs. After 48 minutes at Staples Center, it was easy to see why.
For the first quarter, the Lakers came out with a purpose and played hard on both ends. Despite a strong start from Stephen Curry, the home team still finished the first period level at 26-26. Fresh-faced Ryan Kelly led the Lakers attack with eight points at that point, but the rookie would finish with only 14 points for the game.
In the second period, the Lakers attempted to keep pace with the Warriors, but Curry was playing at a level beyond any player dressed in purple and gold. The 26-year-old point guard cut through the Lakers’ defense with ease and entered the halftime break with 22 points, seven assists, seven rebounds and two steals.
For Curry, a triple-double was almost guaranteed, as the sizzling point guard only required three assists and three rebounds in the second half. For the Lakers, a loss seemed likely, and avoiding embarrassment in front of a packed house was the more reasonable task at hand.
The Lakers entered halftime down 15 points.
As the second half got underway, the Lakers did not exactly help matters by immediately falling behind by 20 points. Although they would rally and cut the lead to 11 points on one occasions in the third quarter, the game would not reach a single-digit differential for the duration of the second half.
Every Laker rally was matched with a Warrior run, and the game never returned to a point where the Warriors were in danger of losing.
In this season of disappointment, one must strain to find bright spots. However, for the optimists, Jordan Hill and Nick Young both put together positive performances. Young finished with 25 points and kept fans in their seats longer than should have been the case. Hill recorded a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds on the night.
However, the story of the evening was Curry and his triple-double. Curry would eventually finish with 30 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, and predictably, the Warriors beat the Lakers 112-95 and nobody got tacos.