Durant leads Warriors’ 2nd straight win over Lakers, 109-85
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Steve Kerr and Luke Walton remained close friends and daily confidantes after their coaching careers sent them to opposite ends of California this summer.
Although they’ve enjoyed the chance to spend time together while the Warriors and the Lakers played each other five times in the past 43 days, they’ll both be grateful for a little space in this rivalry.
Particularly after a game that neither coach enjoyed at all.
Kevin Durant had 29 points, nine assists and six rebounds, and Golden State beat injury-depleted Los Angeles for the second time in three days, 109-85 on Friday night.
“It looked like a Thanksgiving food hangover,” Walton said.
Stephen Curry scored 24 points and Klay Thompson had 18 in the Warriors’ 10th consecutive victory. Golden State followed up its 43-point win in Oakland on Wednesday with another comfortable victory in these clubs’ third regular-season game in three weeks, although Kerr and Walton didn’t see much to like about a sloppy post-holiday contest.
“It was one of the worst basketball games I’ve seen in my life,” Kerr said. “We were awful, and they were awful. The people who bought tickets should get their money back, honestly.”
It almost got worse for the Warriors: Draymond Green had 12 points and eight rebounds before leaving in the third quarter with a bruised left ankle from a collision with teammate Ian Clark. Green is cautiously confident his injury isn’t serious.
Jordan Clarkson scored 20 points for the Lakers, who played without injured starters Julius Randle, Nick Young and D’Angelo Russell. The Lakers gave up 149 points to Golden State on Wednesday, and they never made it close Friday with three of their top five scorers sidelined.
“They’re the best team in the league,” Clarkson said. “I don’t think we see them for a little while, so (we can) get that game out of our head and get our swag back.”
Warriors: After all of this early season exposure, these teams don’t finish their series until April 12 in Oakland. ... Curry missed a breakaway dunk in the second quarter, drawing laughter throughout the arena. Staples Center’s video board replayed the miss after the next timeout and then cut to Curry, who was grinning broadly. “I’ve missed dunks before,” the two-time MVP said.
Lakers: Clarkson moved back into LA’s starting lineup with Young sidelined. Jose Calderon had seven points in his fourth start in Russell’s place. ... Walton said he didn’t review tape of Wednesday’s loss: “I told our film guy I would throw him out of our room if he put that game on my laptop.”
ON A ROLL
The Lakers were the last team to beat the Warriors, notching a 20-point blowout on Nov. 4. Since then, Golden State has found the rhythm necessary to become the powerhouse expected when Durant abandoned Oklahoma City to join up with the two-time defending Western Conference champions in July.
“It’s nice learning lessons in wins, but I think we’re a better team since the last time we stepped foot in this building,” Curry said. “We’re still trending in the right direction. You don’t take anything for granted, but it’s nice we put together consecutive good performances.”
Brandon Ingram had eight points on 3-for-18 shooting in his second NBA start, getting valuable experience as the Lakers’ offensive focus in the absence of Russell and Randle, his fellow blue chip youngsters. Ingram, the No. 2 pick in last summer’s draft, went 1 for 10 in the first half, but kept firing while grabbing nine rebounds.
Russell is out for at least two weeks after missing three of the previous four games with a sore left knee, while Randle missed his second straight game with a hip pointer. Young missed his first game all season after spraining his toe earlier in the week during a game against Oklahoma City in which he hit the game-winning 3-pointer.
Clark was prone under the basket when Green fell and tripped over his head. Clark was hit in the throat, but showed no sign of a concussion, the Warriors said. Green rolled his ankle and didn’t realize he had stepped on his teammate. After skipping the fourth quarter and putting ice on his leg, he hopes to play Saturday back home in Oakland.
Warriors: Host Timberwolves on Saturday.
Lakers: Host Hawks on Sunday.