LOS ANGELES — Steve Blake can empathize. He was once in the locker room and part of the team down the hall from where he dressed with his new Warriors teammates.
Blake appeared inside Staples Center as a visitor Friday for the first time to take on his old team since being traded by the Lakers to Golden State in February, helping the Warriors to a 112-95 win.
The loss for the Lakers marks their 54thof the season, surpassing the 1957-58 Minneapolis Lakers for most losses in franchise history.
As the Lakers inched towards the lottery of the 2014 NBA Draft, Blake and his new team were clinching a playoff spot on Friday night.
Stephen Curry’s 30 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists were too much for the Lakers to contend with, but Blake’s contributions were key on Friday. After being deadlocked 26-26 after the first quarter, Blake gave the Warriors a lift with an eight point second quarter, including knocking down a couple three pointers against his old mates to create some separation.
By night’s end, Blake had 13 points — his high this season with the Warriors — to go along three rebounds and three assists.
"I don’t know about that," Blake said. "I’m just going out there and playing."
His head coach Mark Jackson sang a different tune.
Heading into Friday night, Blake had been scoreless in five of his previous six games. He made just one of 10 shots in five games in April. Jackson was glad to see his guard come off of the bench and get back on track.
"It was good to see him make some shots," Jackson said. "I think a guy like him, who does everything right, deserves to come back in a place where he did some special things and have some success."
Meanwhile, the Lakers head coach could only think about how much he missed having Blake on his team.
"About every day," Mike D’Antoni said. "Steve Blake’s great."
At one end of the hallway there was a brief celebration for the playoff-bound Warriors. At the other end, the reality was setting in that the 2013-14 Lakers team was no longer the worst in Los Angeles Lakers history, but in franchise history. Period.
"They’re having a tough go of it but they’re a good group of guys," Blake said. "I have a lot of respect for them. They’ll be fine at the end of the day."