Lakers beat Warriors 120-94, improve to NBA-best 9-2

LOS ANGELES — No Anthony Davis for the first time this season, no problem for the Los Angeles Lakers.

LeBron James had 23 points and 12 assists in three quarters, Kyle Kuzma and JaVale McGee dominated the middle, and the Lakers rolled past the hobbled Golden State Warriors 120-94 on Wednesday night.

Kuzma scored 22 points starting for Davis and McGee had 18 points and 17 rebounds.

“Our bigs were amazing,” James said. “They controlled the interior both offensively and defensively.”

The Lakers improved their NBA-best record to 9-2 without Davis, who was held out because of a sore right shoulder.

“If one of our stars go down, we have to pick up for him,” McGee said.

The Lakers had 31 assists in the second half of a back-to-back. Their 39 at Phoenix a night earlier was the franchise’s most since April 14, 2009. They notched 31 against defending NBA champion Toronto.

“We know we’re very good when we’re moving the ball,” said James, adding that assists totalling in the high 20s to 30s “let’s me know we’re definitely paying attention.”

James & Co. didn’t waste any time breaking out. He won the opening tip and McGee scored off his alley-oop pass. James keyed a 12-0 run with six points in the first quarter when the Lakers shot 70 per cent and made five 3-pointers. Their 38 points tied a season high for points in a quarter.

Los Angeles extended its lead to 18 points in the second. The Warriors scored 11 in a row to get within seven, but the Lakers quickly restored their lead to double digits at halftime. James’ vicious one-handed dunk riled up the crowd. Their 67 points tied a season high for points in a half.

Former Laker D’Angelo Russell scored 21 points for the Warriors, who lost their fifth in a row and fell to 2-10, worst in the West.

“We’re playing hard, but we have defensive lapses and it adds up,” Russell said. “We have to figure it out. We have guys that are capable, but we have to continue to learn.”

Golden State is but a shadow of the franchise that made five straight NBA Finals appearances. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are injured, and Kevin Durant departed in the off-season.

“We’re getting a great effort but we’re not executing,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Right now, we’re taking our licks and we must learn from our mistakes. Our young guys are learning by getting thrown into the fire.”

Twice the Lakers led by 23 in the third, the second time on a 3-pointer by Dwight Howard. He finished with 15 points and eight rebounds.

Los Angeles extended its lead to 27 in the fourth. McGee’s one-handed reverse dunk highlighted a 14-5 opening run.

“We did a good job locking in on defence and put a lot of pressure on the paint,” Kuzma said.

James sat out the final period, but he still assisted, pulling Davis and DeMarcus Cousins out of their seats to join the team during a timeout.

TIP-INS

Warriors: Their five-game winning streak against the Lakers in LA ended. Golden State had won 10 of 11 overall in the series. … Draymond Green had 10 points in his second game after missing five straight with a left index finger sprain.

Lakers: Davis is expected to return Friday. … Rajon Rondo (mild right calf strain) sat out but will return for the next back-to-back on Nov. 22-23. … They are 5-1 at home. … Their only losses have been to the Clippers and Raptors.

BACK-TO-BACK

James has a history of being better in the second half of a back-to-back.

“We don’t have shootaround,” he said by way of explanation. “I get to sleep in.”

UP NEXT

Warriors: Host Boston on Friday, one of just two home games during a 10-game stretch that has them travelling from Houston to Minneapolis to New Orleans.

Lakers: Host Sacramento on Friday in a game that brings ex-Lakers coach Luke Walton back to Staples Center. They went 3-1 against the Kings last season.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce announces business of the year winners

All finalists ‘displayed courage’ this year, says chamber CEO

More than 400 COVID-19 cases reported in Alberta Wednesday, according to multiple reports. (File photo)
Over 400 additional COVID-19 cases Wednesday

3,372 active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta

A 47-megawatt solar power project has been proposed for a site southwest of the Nova Chemicals petrochemical complex.
Map contributed
$52-million solar power project proposed for Joffre

Project to be built southwest of Nova Chemicals plant could be producing power by the end of 2021

AnnaMarie Lea, artistic director of Lacombe’s Cow Patti Theatre, thinks a lot of people would love to focus on something other than the pandemic, with a few hours of entertainment. (Contributed photo).
Some Red Deer-area shows will go on — with new pandemic precautions

Some theatrical productions are happening under new rules

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer will be at the legislature Thursday to urge members of the UCP caucus to drop the plan to consolidate EMS dispatch by Jan. 4. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Red Deer mayor takes EMS consolidation fight to Edmonton

Mayors of Red Deer, Lethbridge, Calgary and Wood Buffalo to address UCP caucus on Thursday

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.	Kenney is isolating at home after one of his ministers tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta premier isolating after minister tests positive for COVID-19

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is isolating at home

Tampa Bay Rays' Brandon Lowe rounds the bases after a home run off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Tony Gonsolin during the first inning in Game 2 of the baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Lowe homers twice, Rays hold off Dodgers 6-4 to even Series

Lowe homers twice, Rays hold off Dodgers 6-4 to even Series

Mighty Heart is held outside trainer Josie Carroll's stable by exercise rider Des McMahon, as the colt is washed down after being breezed at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto on October 15, 2020. Mighty Heart will make his Triple Crown quest from the the No. 8 post Saturday. The Queen's Plate and Prince of Wales champion was named the even-money favourite in the draw Wednesday for the $400,000 Breeders' Stakes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Mighty Heart to take run at ending Triple Crown drought in $400,000 Breeders Stakes

Mighty Heart to take run at ending Triple Crown drought in $400,000 Breeders Stakes

Toronto Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro watches during baseball spring training in Dunedin, Fla., on Friday, February 24, 2017/ Short on specifics and long on bullishness, Shapiro set an optimistic tone during his first general media availability since the team was eliminated from the post-season a few weeks ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Toronto Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro short on specifics, long on bullishness

Toronto Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro short on specifics, long on bullishness

Liverpool's Fabinho, saves from the goal line after a header from Ajax's captain Dusan Tadic from scoring during the group D Champions League soccer match between Ajax and Liverpool at the Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Real Madrid beaten again, Bayern surges in Champions League

Real Madrid beaten again, Bayern surges in Champions League

Toronto Wolfpack captain Josh McCrone raises the Betfred Championship Trophy alongside teammates after defeating the Featherstone Rovers in the Million Pound Game in Betfred Championship rugby league action in Toronto on October 5, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
Financially troubled Toronto Wolfpack could learn fate soon as early as next week

Financially troubled Toronto Wolfpack could learn fate soon as early as next week

Kansas City Chiefs' Demarcus Robinson (11) holds off Buffalo Bills' Tre'Davious White (27) as Bills' Justin Zimmer (61) also pursues during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
Bills defence looks to rebound after consecutive losses

Bills defence looks to rebound after consecutive losses

CPL champion Forge FC ready for CONCACAF League opener in El Salvador

CPL champion Forge FC ready for CONCACAF League opener in El Salvador

Most Read