No Stephen Curry and no Kobe Bryant apparently meant no problem for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers comfortably won 102-95 over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night at Staples Center. Pau Gasol was the star of the first half by shooting 8-12 from the field for 16 points, four rebounds, and two assists. The generous giant had pledged to donate $1,000 per point to UNICEF with the directive to help victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
In the first half, Gasol was already up to $16,000. By the end of the game, that number was up to $24,000. Gasol said he was “very aware” about his donations during the game.
“(I) definitely had that motivation tonight of scoring points for the Philippines,” he said after the game.
Along with Gasol, the Lakers’ point guards continued their efficient play. Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake combined for 18 points and nine assists in the first half with only 2 turnovers. That helped the Lakers jump out to a nine-point lead at the half.
Blake would trail off a bit in the third quarter, but Farmar combined with fellow LA-native Nick Young to break the game open late in the period.
After the Warriors fought back and tied the game with about 16 minutes remaining in regulation, the LA-duo combined for four of the next five Lakers’ baskets and broke the game open to a 12-point advantage entering the fourth quarter.
“They definitely have good chemistry,” Gasol said about Farmar and Young playing in tandem.
In the final quarter, the Lakers’ bench continued its dominance, and it was easy to see where the Lakers won this game. Young continued to light it up, and he finished with 21 points in the game. Farmar’s 14 points added to the Lakers’ bench total of 44 points. In sharp contrast, the Warriors’ bench finished with only 17 points. That, ultimately, was the difference.
The Lakers have the best bench in the NBA, and Friday night was one more example of how deep this team is. Along with his 14 points, Farmar also added a game-high eight assists in only 18 minutes on the floor.
With Gasol's generous donation and the Lakers generous victory, everyone was a winner in Laker Land. Heck, everyone in attendance even got tacos.