National Basketball Association
Warriors-Lakers Preview
National Basketball Association

Warriors-Lakers Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 2:19 p.m. ET

For all of the eye-popping and impressive numbers the Golden State Warriors have amassed in chasing the 72-win Chicago Bulls, one stands out specifically against the Los Angeles Lakers this season.

And fittingly, that number is three.

That is the total combined minutes Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green have played in the fourth quarter of their three victories over Los Angeles, and another such lopsided win Sunday would further enhance Golden State's chances of setting that new league standard.

Golden State's march toward surpassing the 1995-96 Bulls picked up steam with two wins over Oklahoma City in its last three games. That included a 121-106 victory Thursday night in which the Warriors (55-5) rallied from nine down in the third quarter to blow past a tired Thunder team playing for a second consecutive night.


Stephen Curry, who sat out Tuesday's victory over Atlanta with an ankle injury, scored 33 points as the Warriors matched that Bulls juggernaut with their NBA record-tying 44th consecutive home win. The bench provided 32 as Marreese Speights and Shaun Livingston fueled a decisive fourth-quarter spurt.

''We're confident coming off the bench,'' Livingston said. ''They have a good team. But we have a deeper team. We try to come in and all do our parts and do our jobs and hopefully overwhelm them over a 48-minute game.''

Golden State has made quick work of Los Angeles, winning all three meetings by a combined 73 points. The Warriors hit 36 3-pointers in the first three quarters and averaged 89.0 points - 53.3 from Curry, Thompson and Green.

Thompson is the only one to see any action in the fourth quarter of those contests, a pedestrian three minutes of a 109-88 rout Jan. 5 in which he didn't take a shot.

Blowout wins are a key reason the Warriors have a chance to be two games clear of the Bulls' pace through 61 games with a victory. The trio has enjoyed the final 12 minutes from the bench seven times this season, though it hasn't happened since a 120-90 rout of San Antonio on Jan. 25.

Already the owner of the NBA's single-season record for 3-pointers made, Curry is seven shy of 300. He's hit that many in a game 17 times and made 8 of 16 from beyond the arc in a 116-98 win over the Lakers on Jan. 14 in the most recent game between the teams.

Kobe Bryant is questionable for what would be his final game against the Warriors due to a sore shoulder. He didn't play along with fellow injured top scorers Jordan Clarkson (15.6 points per game) and Lou Williams (15.3) on Friday night when the Lakers (12-51) were overrun 106-77 at home by Atlanta for their 24th loss in 28 games.

"You're missing your three guys that do the bulk of your scoring," coach Byron Scott told the team's official website. "(We were) just searching tonight to try to find somebody to have some consistency on that end of the floor."

Trying to carry the offensive load proved too much for rookie D'Angelo Russell, who shot 3 of 16 and finished with seven points. The No. 2 overall pick had averaged 26.8 points in the previous four games.

Bryant has averaged 27.3 points in 66 lifetime games against Golden State, matching his highest against any opponent. Ten of his 121 40-point games in the regular season have come versus the Warriors, who are looking to pull off a season sweep of the Lakers for the first time since 1993-94.

It seems likely Bryant will at least be in the building to see the league's best team - even if he can't play - after not even going to Staples Center for Friday's game.

''A lot of times he stays home to get treatment and he's resting,'' Scott said.


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