OAKLAND — The early Christmas present in Steve Nash’s return initially provided a visual reminder that the Lakers still had plenty of things to fulfill on their holiday wish list.
The Lakers still couldn’t defend. They still struggled handling the ball. The Lakers still had an offense featuring too much of Kobe Bryant. The Lakers’ size advantage in Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol became mute because of early foul trouble.
But as they nursed a 13-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter against a young and scrappy Warriors team off to their best start since the 1991-92 season, the Lakers suddenly revealed their character.
The Lakers’ 118-115 overtime victory Saturday over the Warriors at Oracle Arena didn’t just cement a four-game winning streak. It also forged a collective feeling that the experience made them stronger.
“We needed something everyday with something to build on,” Nash said. “You can’t build on anything without hard work and perseverance.”