Shawne Williams self-critical of his play

OAKLAND – Before anyone even asked, Lakers forward Shawne Williams assigned himself some blame surrounding the team’s 125-94 loss Wednesday to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.

Why did the Lakers allow Warriors forward David Lee to score 24 points on 8 of 13 shooting?

“I have to put a stronger arm on David,” Williams said. “We can’t let them have their way in the paint. We have to come out with more energy and swing back.”

How do the Lakers explain the disparity between their season-opening win against the Clippers and their dud against the Warriors.

“We have to bring the same energy we brought against the Clippers,” Williams said. “Starting with me, we have to do a better job starting the game off containing them.”
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Pau Gasol speaks out on defense, offensive organization after Lakers’ loss to Golden State

OAKLAND — Pau Gasol wore a solemn expression, and the reasons appeared wide-ranging.

As he stood in front of his locker before addressing reporters, Gasol struggled putting on his sports coat and noticed one of the buttons on his shirt sleeve came loose. His stuffy voice revealed the early signs of a cold. And then there was everything surrounding the Lakers’ 125-94 loss Tuesday to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.

Gasol sounded irritated about seemingly everything surrounding the disparity of the Lakers’ season-opening win against the Clippers to their clunker against Golden State. But he started on defense. Warriors guard Klay Thompson bombed a career-high 38 points on 15 of 19 shooting and 5 of 7 from 3-point shooting. Warriors forward David Lee muscled his way inside with 24 points on 8 of 13 shooting. Golden State made the Lakers suddenly look old with 25 fast-break points.

“We didn’t really create any energy for ourselves,” Gasol said. “There was no communication. On a back to back, you have to do that. We didn’t do that. We were stagnant on both ends of the floor and were not active enough. That’s what’s going to happen when we do those things.”
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Lakers show shaky defense in 125-94 loss to Golden State

OAKLAND — For a team that supposedly built a tight bond during training camp, the Lakers appeared awfully disjointed in their 125-94 loss Wednesday to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.

It came in all shapes and forms.

Warriors guard Klay Thompson bombed a career-high 38 points on 15 of 19 shooting and 5 of 7 from 3-point shooting. Warriors forward David Lee muscled his way inside with 24 points on 8 of 13 shooting. Golden State made the Lakers suddenly look old with 25 fast-break points. And the Warriors exposed weaknesses that plagued the Lakers last season.

“We didn’t really create any energy for ourselves,” Lakers center Pau Gasol said. “There was no communication. On a back–to-back, you have to do that. We didn’t do that. We were stagnant on both ends of the floor and were not active enough. That’s what’s going to happen when we do those things.”

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Lakers show different identity in 125-94 loss to Warriors

A night after hosting a party, the Lakers played as if they nursed a hangover.

The Lakers’ 125-94 loss Wednesday to the Golden State Warriors here at Oracle Arena looked nothing like that season-opening win the previous night against the Clippers, perhaps providing a case-study that the purple and gold’s mix of eager castoffs may produce results both exciting and head-scratching.

It didn’t help Steve Nash sat out of the second night of a back-to-back, a possible season-long experiment the Lakers may take with the 39-year-old point guard in hopes ensuring long-term health. Or that the Lakers played the second night of a back-to-back while the Warriors just opened their season.

Still, Nash played only 21 minutes in the season opener because the Lakers’ youthful and athletic bench seemingly did everything. He also dressed for in-case-of-emergency purposes, though that only applies injuries and foul trouble and not double-digit deficits. The Lakers also plan to feature an 11-man rotation to offset fatigue concerns.

It goes without saying, but the Lakers sure miss Kobe Bryant as continues to rehab his left Achilles tendon. But even with Bryant staying on the sidelines, the Lakers showed two different identities on consecutive nights.
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Warriors coach Mark Jackson regrets not calling timeout following Kobe Bryant’s Achilles injury

OAKLAND – Six months after witnessing Kobe Bryant tearing his left Achilles tendon, Golden State coach Mark Jackson wanted to come clean.

As Bryant fell to the ground on a routine drive past Harrison Barnes in the waning minutes of a regular-season game April 12 against the Warriors at Staples Center, Jackson sensed the sequence amounted nothing more than a ploy to trick Golden State into believing Bryant was hurt.

“I’m in the huddle saying don’t go for the okie doke,” Jackson said before the Lakers played Golden State Wednesday at Oracle Arena. “He’s all right. Don’t allow him to take over this game not knowing he was really hurt.’”
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Steve Nash to sit against Golden State

OAKLAND – It only took two games last season for Steve Nash to suffer a major injury, a fractured left leg preventing him from producing the offensive magic that once made him a two-time MVP and a surelock for the Hall of Fame.

The Lakers assured themselves of losing Nash so early this season, with coach Mike D’Antoni electing him to sit for tonight’s game against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena in hopes of preserving the 39-year-old’s body.

The Lakers will feature Steve Blake at point guard and Jodie Meeks at shooting guard namely because of their experience from last season in D’Antoni’s system.

“He’s at the stage of his career where he has to be cautious,” D’Antoni said. “We need to move it along slowly so that as he goes forward, he’s ready to go all year. We don’t want any setbacks early. We’re just being cautious.”
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Lakers bench showed their identity in 116-103 win over Clippers

Each player faced rejection in their basketball life. Too bad. They’re not taking no for answer.

They all come from various backgrounds that suggest they’re damaged goods with labels including draft bust, injury-prone, streaky and one-dimensional. So what. They still believe they can overcome that perception.

Their names hardly slip off a casual fan’s tongue. Who cares. They remain intent they’ll become recognized soon enough.

That moment happened in the Lakers’ 116-103 victory Tuesday over the Clippers in a designated home game at Staples Center, and it’s likely that only they expected it. The Lakers’ bench combined for 76 points, the third highest total in franchise history. They played the entire fourth quarter and closed out the game scoring the last 46 points. And as they hustled and high-fived their way toward victory, perhaps Kobe Bryant could take his time rehabbing his left torn Achilles tendon.

“We can win every game if we go out and play,” said Lakers guard Jordan Farmar, who posted 16 points on 6 of 10 shooting in 27 minutes. “We’re talented enough to make that happen. We’re just trying to hold down the fort until we get our whole team back. We’ll see how far we can take this.”
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Steve Nash provides more concerns surrounding his health

Everything around Steve Nash made him feel better.

He smiled as he detailed the Lakers’ closeness that led to a 116-103 season-opening win Tuesday over the Clippers in a designated home game at Staples Center. Nash appeared refreshed after the bench’s 76 points enabled him to play for only 21 minutes. Even though he warned of tough times ahead in a long 82-game season, Nash chalked up the experience thus far as “rewarding” and “a lot of fun.”

But then Nash provided a medical update that initially seemed positive, but suggested otherwise. Could the added rest ensure he plays Wednesday in the Lakers’ second game of a back-to-back against the Golden State Warriors?

“I would imagine I can play tomorrow,” Nash said. “But we’ll see how I feel in the morning. We’ll see how it goes. A couple of strange things happened out there for me tonight, but I think I’ll be okay.”

What were those strange things?

“I’ll just leave it that,” he said. “I just had some weird knocks and stuff that happened.”
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Five things to take from Lakers’ 116-103 win over Clippers

Below are five things to take from the Lakers’ 116-103 victory Tuesday over the Clippers at Staples Center:

1. The Lakers’ bench mob takes over. No longer do the Lakers have to worry about blown leads and play a tight rotation. Now they have a reserve unit that can seemingly do everything. Need solid play-making? Give that to Jordan Farmar (16 points). Need some timely three-point shooting. Farmar, Jodie Meeks and Xavier Henry will provide that with a combined 5 of 12 clip. Need a player capable of shredding the Clippers’ defense by driving to the basket? Henry has that covered, posting 22 points on 8 of 13 shooting mostly on attacking the rim. Need a post presence based on mid-range jumpers? Chris Kaman has you covered with 10 points on a 5 of 10 clip. Need some rebounding? Kaman and Jordan Hill will gladly provide the hustle plays and grab a combined 16 boards.

Add it all up, and this is the main reason why the Lakers upset the Clippers. They constantly provided energy. They gave the starters plenty of rest. And it gave the Lakers some tangible signs that they actually could be a competitive team this season.

2. The Lakers defense came in spurts. Shawne Williams indicated that Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni spends 70 percent of his practices going over defense, a surprising revelation considering D’Antoni’s reputation as having a score-first, defend-later mindset. But that balance might need to increase even more. The Lakers showed more effort in staying organized on defense and on sprinting back in transition. But the Clippers kept it close, mostly notably in the third quarter by opening the second half with eight unanswered points.
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Mike D’Anonti has “seven or eight” questions on Lakers’ season

After seeing the Hall of Fame talent surrounding him, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni strolled here into Los Angeles envisioning great things.

He talked about restoring Showtime. D’Antoni boasted his team would average 110-115 points per game. He dismissed on not having a training camp, believing the Lakers’ talent would take care of itself.

Then reality set, and never-ending injuries and conflicting coach and player agendas all brought the Lakers crashing down to a first-round sweep to the San Antonio Spurs.

As with most of the general public, several things leave D’Antoni unsure on how the Lakers’ 2013-14 season will play out.

“We have seven to eight question marks and if we hit on five of them, we’ll have a realy good season,” D’Antoni said. “It’s our job to maximize what we have. I’m comfortable with the talent level. We just have to get them to play together and understand the importance of every possession.”

D’Antoni then rattled off several variables.

“If you’re making the case against, you would say Kobe [Bryant] won’t come back, [Steve] Nash won’t have a great year, Pau [Gasol] will be down. We have a lot of young guys,” D’Antoni said. “You can make the case Kobe will be back in top form, Nash will have a great year. Pau will be an All-Star and we’ll have one or two young guys come through.”

D’Antoni then added about whether Chris Kaman can become effective, whether Nick Young will offer much beyond scoring and whether Xavier Henry will build off becoming a pleasant surprise during training camp.

Did he ever have such question marks?

“New York had a lot of question marks,” D’Antoni said. “It happens. Every team is like this, especially when you’re throwing guys together and rebuilding … We have an abundance of, ‘Wow, this could be really good.’ Or, ‘We really don’t know.’”

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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