Klay has 36, Steph sits late as Warriors beat Lakers 109-88
Jan. 06, 2016
LOS ANGELES (AP) — After Stephen Curry came up limping from another blow to his sore left leg, Golden State coach Luke Walton thought the reigning MVP should take the rest of the night off while the Warriors wrapped up another blowout win.
Walton also knows Steph wouldn't be Steph if it was that easy to keep him off the court.
Klay Thompson scored 22 of his 36 points in the first quarter and Curry added 17 before sitting out the fourth to rest his ailing leg in Golden State's 109-88 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.
The defending champion Warriors became the first NBA team to win 33 of its first 35 games.
Curry stayed in the game after knocking legs with Roy Hibbert in the third quarter, leaving the star guard with obvious frustration on his face. He missed two games with a bruised lower left leg last week before returning for Golden State's past three games, unwilling to take more than the minimum time away from the Warriors' 33-2 season.
"It's frustrating and annoying," Curry said. "Long-term, it's not something I have to worry about. It's just playing through an injury."
Curry only agreed to go to the locker room before the fourth quarter, after the Warriors had scored 22 straight points to put it away. He said he has been told it would take four weeks to fully heal his leg, "but I'm not sitting out four weeks."
"I played with a guy like that," said Walton, Kobe Bryant's championship-winning teammate with the Lakers. "I wasn't going to put him back out there at first, but he was pretty adamant about it."
Bryant sat out his third straight game with a sore right shoulder for the Lakers, whose three-game winning streak ended.
The Warriors never trailed while beating the Lakers at Staples Center for only the fifth time in franchise history.
"It's unbelievable," Thompson said of the Warriors' start. "It's honestly surreal. (Going) 33-2 is tough to do in high school, let alone the NBA."
Jordan Clarkson scored 23 points for the Lakers. Rookie guard D'Angelo Russell sat out with a sore throat, missing a game for the first time in his career. The Lakers' three-game winning streak was their longest since February, but the loss dropped their record to 8-28, the second-worst in the NBA.
"They've got a bunch of intelligent players, and the league right now as a whole is not a very intelligent league," Metta World Peace said. "They have a high IQ, and they capitalize on the lower IQs."
Thompson had 22 points in the first 11 minutes, hitting four 3-pointers and going 9 for 14 from the field. The Warriors toyed with the Lakers into the third quarter before pushing their lead from 66-55 to 88-55 in 5 1/2 minutes.
Bryant's shoulder has improved in recent days, but he still decided to sit for the third time in 2016. Lakers coach Byron Scott is cautiously optimistic that the 20-year veteran will return Thursday in Sacramento. Bryant has missed seven games this season.
DUB TRIPS ON TRIPLE-DOUBLE
Draymond Green's streak of three straight triple-doubles ended with nine points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Green was attempting to become the second player in 27 years to post four in a row. He already tied the Warriors record for consecutive triple-doubles, set 56 years ago by Tom Gola.
Warriors: Golden State is staying in a luxury coastal resort in Southern California before flying north to visit the Trail Blazers on Friday. Walton said it's part of the team's goal to minimize travel weariness. ... Golden State shot its first free throw 1:10 into the second half.
Lakers: Nick Young was booed by Lakers fans in the second quarter after missing two free throws and airballing a jumper in succession. The hometown product has struggled for much of the season. ... World Peace got a technical foul in the third quarter after a brief exchange with Green.
Warriors: At Portland on Friday.
Lakers: At Sacramento on Thursday.