|Date of game: 12/23/2014
Recap: LA Lakers vs. Golden State
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Not even former Lakers great Vlade Divac could miss as Los Angeles, playing without a resting Kobe Bryant, handed the Golden State Warriors their most unlikely loss of the season, 115-105, on Tuesday.
The Warriors, an NBA-best 23-3 coming in, were shell-shocked at a lively Staples Center, as the Lakers built a huge lead by shooting 56.5 percent over the first three quarters and held on for a surprising win.
"They kicked our ass," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr admitted. "They were much better than we were tonight. We weren't ready to play."
Carlos Boozer led seven Los Angeles players in double figures with 18 points and added nine rebounds. Ronnie Price contributed 17 points and eight assists, Nick Young added 15 points, and Wesley Johnson and Ed Davis chipped in with 14 apiece to help snap LA's three-game slide.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 22 and 18 points, respectively, but both sharpshooters were on the bench long before the final buzzer with the outcome never in question.
Golden State rolled to a 20-point win over the Kings on Monday but had no answer for the Lakers' suddenly balanced scoring attack.
Bryant, of course, has been used heavily in this his 19th NBA season, and given his usage rate and his recent struggles, head coach Byron Scott opted to give the veteran a maintenance day.
With the way his teammates played against the red-hot Warriors, Bryant may give his teammates a few more chances going forward.
Young's three-point play capped a 9-2 run and gave the Lakers a 34-24 cushion at the end of the first quarter.
It was a double-digit game most of the second, and a Young-to-Johnson lob from midcourt fittingly capped the lopsided half.
"That's exactly what we needed with that type of effort and energy," Scott said. "We just went out and played...and had confidence that we could make plays."
The Warriors trailed 63-48 at the break but still appeared poised for a comeback when Curry scored on three straight possessions and Harrison Barnes and Thompson buried consecutive 3s to pull the visitors within 75-65.
Wayne Ellington, though, stopped the momentum with a 3-ball of his own, and Price added three more during a two-minute stretch that extended the Lakers' lead back to 21.
The end of the third quarter saw the Lakers holding a 95-73 advantage, and during the stoppage in play, Divac, a fan favorite who played eight seasons with the Lakers, cooly drained a halfcourt shot for charity.
Only a 16-0 Warriors run in the fourth prevented an uglier outcome.Game Notes
The Lakers' 24-point lead in the fourth quarter was their largest lead at any
point this season ... Ellington Jeremy Lin rounded out LA's top scorers with
12 and 11 points, respectively ... The Lakers recorded 11 steals and 10 blocks
... The Warriors had won four straight meetings.