The Lakers defeated the Golden State Warriors, 114-106, tonight at Staples Center. They squandered almost all of an 18-point lead in the third quarter, then watched as the Warriors crept to within 105-102 in the final minutes before holding on to win.
Coach Phil Jackson was happy for the victory, which kept the Lakers (54-14) within one game of the league-leading Cleveland Cavaliers (55-13). He wasn’t overly enthusiastic about their play one game after they blew a 14-point lead and lost to Philadelphia and two games after they coughed up a 15-point lead before scrambling back to defeat Dallas.
“Well, turnovers were awful tonight, right off the bat,” Jackson said. “Direct line penetration was not very good. I thought we did some inconsistent things against their personnel. There’s three or four things right off the bat that I can name that we did not improve tonight. Significantly, I thought there was some better recognition in transition defense. And even though they got some breaks early, we still had better recognition as to getting back and shutting the ball down.”
Breaking it down further, the Lakers had 22 turnovers, which Golden State turned into 23 points. The undersized Warriors had 46 points in the paint. they also had 14 fastbreak points.
On the plus side, the Bench Mob rebounded from a pair of lackluster games. Sasha Vujacic led the second unit with 12 points on 4-for-4 shooting. Luke Walton had nine points, Josh Powell had seven and Jordan Farmar had four. Shannon Brown and DJ Mbenga also played, but they did not score.