On Tuesday evening, the world champions Golden State Warriors waltzed into Staples Center and delivered a dominating performance to cruise past the streaking Los Angeles Lakers 109-88.
LA had won three games in a row and had been playing with confidence, but Klay Thompson and the Warriors did not take long to set down a marker that was clearly beyond the Lakers' limited reach. Thompson scored 22 points in the first quarter, which helped the Warriors notch 37 points over the first 12 minutes. Eventually, Thompson would finish with a game-high 36 points on the night.
As a team, the Lakers had 25 points at the end of the first period, meaning Thompson only missed matching the entire Lakers' team by three points in the quarter.
A 12-point deficit would balloon to 15 points by halftime, though a buzzer-beating Jordan Clarkson three-pointer allowed the Lakers to seem like they had kept the game somewhat respectable for a half. To be fair, 15 points did sound respectable considering what would come next.
The Warriors would put together a 22-0 run in the third quarter to take the Lakers from trailing by 11 points to knocked out cold and down 33 points over a span of five minutes and nine seconds. By the time the quarter ended, Thompson scored 14 of the Warriors' 30 points over those 12 minutes, which meant he had outscored the Lakers' team 14-13 in the period..
Of course, the game would immediately become academic at that stage. The Lakers fell to 8-28 on the season, and the Warriors improved to 33-2.
"It was a combination of Klay Thompson and …. Klay Thompson," Lakers forward Larry Nancy Jr said of the game — janis carr (@janiscarr) January 6, 2016
When looking for positive in defeat, Clarkson finished with 23 points in 29 minutes. Larry Nance Jr. continued his recent strong play with nine points and seven rebounds, but the scoreboard dictated that the 23-year-old rookie only play 20 minutes and 28 seconds.
Notes: Kobe Bryant sat out his third straight game with a sore shoulder. D'Angelo Russell missed Tuesday's game with a sore throat. Stephen Curry left the bench in the second half after his shin collided with Roy Hibbert's leg. Curry did not return to the game. Julius Randle finished with two points, nine rebounds and four assists in 20 minutes. As a team, the Lakers shot only 31.9 percent. Tarik Black played 7:36 at the end of the game, converted both his attempts and scored four points and claimed four defensive rebounds. He also had one assist and one block shot. Black last featured in a game on Nov. 24, which happened to be in Oakland against the same Warriors team.