Monday, December 29, 2008

Lakers-Warriors: Golden State Fails To Make It a Sweep

The Lakers routed the Golden State Warriors 130-113, on December 28. Reigning MVP Kobe Bryant scored 31 points on 9-of-15 shooting, hitting three of his six three-point attempts and a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line. He had 4 steals and 4 assists.

Derek Fisher, who had a lot of help from his teammates defensively, played for less than 25 minutes and scored 19 points on 9-of-12 field goal shooting. He had 5 assists and a steal.

Sasha Vujacic scored 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting hitting 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. He also had aix assists to go with his steal. Andrew Bynum played just over 25 minutes and made 6 of his 12 shots for 13 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals and a blocked shot.

Pau Gasol added 13 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in 30 minutes. Trevor Ariza contributed 11 points, nine rebounds, four assists, a steal and two blocked shots off the bench (including a blocked jump shot by Marco Belinelli).

Jamal Crawford returned to the Warriors' lineup after missing two games with a groin strain and scored 22 points with five assists. Belinelli and Brandan Wright had 14 points each.

As expected, the Warriors front-court wasn't be able to match up against the Lakers big men. Andris Biedrins only scored eight points, despite inhaling 17 rebounds (including a season high 15 rebounds in the first half). Biedrins tied Amare Stoudemire of the Phoenix Suns for the most reboudns in a half.

Stephen Jackson struggled with his shots hitting 3-of-9 for nine points with a single rebound. Former Laker Ronny Turiaf was scoreless in 20 minutes with a single rebound, despite blocking four shots.

The game was a shootout between the league's best offensive teams. The Lakers are the number one offensive team in the NBA averaging 107.3 points per game while the Warriors are number two with 105 points per contest.

But the Warriors are also the worst defensive team in the league, surrendering 111.3 points per game while the Lakers only allowed their opponents to score an average of 97.6 per game. The Lakers are, in fact, the 3rd leading team in the NBA in terms of point-differential, which is the average margin of victory.

The Warriors have proven that an energetic offensive team playing in their home court could win against a defensive team in their recent game against the Boston Celtics, the number one defensive team in the league that limits their opponents to 41.8% field goal shooting.

The Celtics didn't have enough offense to counter the Warriors' offensive run in the fourth quarter. The Warriors outscored the Celtics in the last period, 35-17 to seal their win.

But against the Lakers? No chance! The Lakers had enough offense to allow any letdown in any quarter in their game against the Warriors. Can the Warriors do it when they play in their home court against the Lakers on Jan. 7 next year?

Maybe... But I doubt it!


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