About half a dozen games ago, knowing their season would end in mid-April, many Lakers said they’d still play their best to end on a high note. “Be player haters,” per Nick Young, and defeat play-off bound teams for the sheer satisfaction of doing so. The problem with playing play-off bound teams, though? They’re really good.
Tonight, the Lakers took on their former teammate, Steve Blake, and his new team, the Golden State Warriors. In three of the four quarters, the two teams were relatively equal. Unfortunately, a huge second quarter by the Warriors did the home team in for the rest of the game and the Lakers lost, 112-95.
Steph Curry and the Warriors – The sixth best team in the Western Conference is led by a dynamic point guard who makes scoring looking easy as pie. Curry Led the game with his 30 points on 12-20 from the field, including 4-5 from downtown, 12 assists, 10 rebounds and two steals for a well-rounded game, not to mention a triple-double. Golden State’s 18 turnovers aside, they shot almost 50% from the field, including 13-25 from behind the arc (that’s 52%).
Nick Young – There’s no telling what color jersey Young will be wearing next season, but it sure would be nice to have this kid back. Jodie Meeks may have been the most consistent player this season, but Young has been the showman. No player looks as happy as Young when his shot (or his teammates’ shots) go in. He was the best scorer in a Laker uniform out there tonight for sure, with his 25 points on 10-20 from the field.
Double Double-Doubles – Jordan Hill and Ryan Kelly had a couple of solid games this evening. Hill scored 18 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, handed out four assists and collected a pair of steals. Kelly chipped in 14 points, 11 rebounds, three dimes, a steal and a block.
The Un-Supporting Cast – Young, Hill and Kelly did a bulk for the Lakers this evening. The rest, including Meeks, had a tough night. Meeks was just 2-12 from the field, managing to reach 10 points only because he hit 5-8 free throws. Kendall Marshall, who has proven more than anything this season that a productive streak can surely be followed by an productive one, played just 19 minutes, hitting only 3-7 of his shots for seven points, and handing out a trio of assists. His 20 point, 16 assist night seems ages ago, as does the stretch in which he produced five double-doubles in a row.
Rebounds – It was the 5th best rebounding team against the 24th. 57-42 boards advantage for the Warriors.
Second Quarter – If not for the 15-point disparity of the second quarter, the two teams would’ve been at 80-78, Warriors, but Golden State really took it to the Lakers after the first 12 minutes of play. The Lakers shot just 33% from the field in the second quarter, and went 0-7 from three. The Warriors, on the other hand, shot 62% from the field and hit 4-8 from behind the arc.
Surrender – The Lakers have lost in bunches, by bunches. Tonight the Warriors led by as much as 21 points in that fourth quarter, but the Lakers just didn’t have a huge run left. They don’t seem to have much left…period.
The last home game is this Saturday against the Memphis Grizzlies, followed by two road games. It’s hard to believe that LakerNation is anticipating (perhaps relieved and excited) that the season is finally coming to an end. It’s been a long one.