The Los Angeles Lakers continue to have a winning record without
Kobe Bryant in the lineup.
The Golden State Warriors aren’t winning enough lately thanks in
part to how often Stephen Curry is turning over the ball.
These Pacific Division rivals have split two meetings and are
facing different issues heading into Saturday night’s matchup in
Los Angeles (13-13) responded to the news that Bryant will miss
at least six weeks because of a fracture in his left knee with a
104-91 home win over Minnesota on Friday. Pau Gasol had 21 points
and 13 boards as the Lakers improved to 11-9 without their best
player, who missed the first 19 games.
”I mean, we started without him, and right now unfortunately
we’re without him again,” said Xavier Henry, who also scored 21.
“But we know we can play. We know we can win games, and we have the
confidence that we have other people that can do the job.”
Golden State (14-13), meanwhile, has lost five of eight as Curry
has had a difficult stretch handling the ball. The Warriors star is
averaging 28.5 points in that span, but has also averaged 5.1
turnovers – he is averaging an NBA-worst 4.2.
He and backcourt mate Klay Thompson each had five of Golden
State’s 24 turnovers in Thursday’s 104-102 loss to a San Antonio
team playing without stars Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu
“It’s on all of us, not one of us,” Thompson said. “Just being
careless with the ball, not making the fundamental play, that’s all
it comes down to.”
Thompson is scuffling through a five-game stretch in which he is
shooting 35.0 percent while failing to reach 20 points in any of
“I know I’m going to break out of it,” Thompson said. “All I
gotta do is play hard and stay focused.”
The Los Angeles native is averaging 20.6 points against the
Lakers for his highest against any team. He scored a career-high 38
in a 125-94 rout of Los Angeles on Oct. 30 that represented the
Warriors’ largest victory in an opener.
The Lakers evened the season series by winning 102-95 at home
Nov. 22. Curry sat that one out with a concussion.
Gasol and Nick Young combined for 45 points to key that victory
and Los Angeles got 46 from that duo Friday. Young was one point
shy of a season high with 25 while Henry became the fourth player
to start at point guard.
“They understand the moment and they understand that this is
their opportunity,” coach Mike D’Antoni said.
The Warriors, meanwhile, have to be wondering how to get
Harrison Barnes untracked. The second-year forward has totaled 16
points on 5-of-18 shooting in his last three games after the second
scoreless effort of his career Thursday.
“I just couldn’t get in a rhythm,” he said. “The only person I
can blame on that is myself so I just have to get it back
Barnes has begun the last two contests on the bench since Andre
Iguodala has returned after missing 12 due to a right hamstring
injury. Iguodala, though, has just eight points in the two