BEIJING (AP) — David Lee scored 31 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 100-95 preseason win over a Kobe Bryant-less Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday in China.
Stephen Curry added 24 points for the Warriors, while Andrew Bogut had 14 rebounds and nine points. Lee finished 12 of 16 from the field.
“The way it’s supposed to work is that we can get some stuff on the inside early in the game and that will open up the outside for guys like Steph to shoot 3s as the game goes on,” the center said.
Nick Young led the Lakers with 18 points. Pau Gasol had 15 points and Chris Kaman scored 14 with 10 rebounds.
Although Bryant made the trip to China, he’s sitting out the games to nurse a torn Achilles tendon and an ailing right knee. He was clearly missed by the Chinese fans, who chanted his name throughout the game.
Gasol said the Lakers faded defensively in the third quarter without their star.
“We don’t know when Kobe’s going to get back,” Gasol said. “But until that point we just have to play hard as a team as we’ve been doing, and making sure we can’t wait for him to get back and everything to fall into place at that point.”
The Lakers play a second exhibition game in Shanghai on Friday.
The Warriors trailed 11 points at the end of the third quarter, but tied the score at 84 with just over seven minutes remaining on a 3-pointer by Curry and never trailed again.
Golden State coach Mark Jackson said Curry has been healthy the entire offseason.
“I thought tonight for the first time in a long time he had a rhythm and he was the best player on the floor,” Jackson said. “It was great to see and we expect tremendous (things) from him throughout the course of this season.”
Curry said the team played “probably our best half in the second half all preseason.”