The Golden State Warriors didn’t know what hit ‘em in the first few minutes of tonight’s game. The ball went up, the clock started and suddenly they were down 14-2.

Going 5-5 from the field to begin, the Lakers’ starters played like the veteran bunch they are. A ball-fake into a layup from Derek Fisher (14 points on 5-6); Pau Gasol (26 points on 10-19) from 15 feet; a step-back fall-away from Kobe Bryant; one from downtown by Lamar Odom; and Ron Artest all over Monta Ellis.

With fellow backcourt scoring machine, Stephen Curry, out with an ankle injury, Ellis was left to do the lifting for the Warriors, but it turned out much too heavy to carry alone. Despite an 18-point contribution from Dorell Wright, who filled in for Curry, Ellis only managed 20 points for the game on 9-20 from the field courtesy of some bona fide Artest defense.

After the first quarter, the home team led 34-14. With the Lakers’ reserves on the floor, the Warriors went on a quick 11-0 run to start the second quarter, putting themselves within nine points. It didn’t take long, however, for the Lakers to increase the lead back to a more “comfortable” amount, bringing in most of the starters to end the half. Bryant caught a defensive rebound, threw the ball cross-court to a waiting Matt Barnes, who swiftly handed it to a running Gasol. Odom popped the ball from David Lee then scored on a one-man fastbreak and suddenly the lead was back to 19. After 24 minutes, the Lakers led 56-38 and Odom already had himself a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, not to mention four assists and a steal.

The second half did not start out as smoothly as the first, with both teams opening the third quarter by turning the ball over. The Lakers, however, continued their efforts from beyond the arc, with Fisher and Bryant each hitting their threes and giving the home team a 17- point advantage before the final quarter.

The reserves, as whole, were not as efficient as they were in the first two regular season games, but Matt Barnes was the exception tonight. In a short span of time to begin the fourth, Barnes grabbed an offensive rebound, passed it to Steve Blake, who passed it to Gasol, who gave it back to Barnes for two. On the next Laker possession, Gasol found Barnes again for a hoop, and for his last shot of the evening, a three to give the Lakers their largest lead of the game, 107-75.

In his post-game interview, Odom referred to his former adversary as “my man, Matty Barnes.” From one blue-collar workhorse to another, this term of endearment is telling. Though they waged in a war of words (in 140 characters or less) after the Lakers played in Orlando last season, the two have a quality in common and the defending champions are better for it – they do what they have to do for their team and they couldn’t care less about their personal stats. Matt Barnes could have scored from Kobe’s cross-court pass, but he decided to reward Gasol with the points and gladly took the assist. He rarely gives up on plays, reaching for however many rebounds until there’s none left to grab. Barnes finished with seven points, six rebounds, four assists and a steal – a box score padder, much like Odom.

Barnes’ other former adversary, Kobe Bryant, continues to show improvement. When asked about the status of his knee, Bryant advised sideline reporter, Patrick O’Neal, “I’m 100% so stop asking me about it,” and it looked that way tonight. For the first time this season (including the pre-season), Bryant shot 50% from the field, going 8-16 for 20 points. He also collected seven rebounds and handed out two assists.

It was a good win for the home team, dressed for the first time this season in their Sunday whites. Gasol played the most, one second shy of 35 minutes, but Phil Jackson emptied his bench for the final six minutes, with rookies, Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter scoring their first official points as Los Angeles Lakers.

3-0 to start the season. So far, so great.

Box Score
Pre-game Thoughts:Someone…ANYONE, please guard Monta Ellis.
Half-time Thoughts:38-56 – The starters established a 20-point lead heading into the second quarter, but the Lakers reserves failed to protect what they built. The starters came back in, however, and quickly took that large lead right back. Lamar Odom already with a double-double, 13 points, 10 boards, four assists and a block.
Most Thoughtless Player(s) of the Game:After playing so well in the pre-season and the first two regular season games, the Laker reserves blew a 20-point lead in the second quarter.
Most Thought-filled Player(s) of the Game:Kobe Bryant is finally looking like his old 50% shooting self and Pau Gasol had himself another double-double, but Lamar Odom had his double-double locked up before the first half even ended. He finished with 16 points on 6-9, 14 rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block. He’s had a double-double in all three regular season games so far.

  • lakeshow123

    great analysis …..one problem though…..how can Kobe grab an “offensive” rebound and throw it cross court to barnes?………if its an offensive rebound then the lakers basket is at the end of the floor where kobe grabbed the rebound………so it must have been a defensive board ( I know im just nitpicking…..this team is so damn dominant this is all the fault i can find :) )

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

      Thanks for that catch! I wrote “defensive” in my notes but sometimes my fingers type faster than my brain.

  • aceman

    You do know his name is Devin Ebanks, not Devin Banks, don’t you? ;)

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

      Yes, typo. Thank you.

  • 242LakerFan

    The best stat of the night for me was that no one played more than 35 minutes. This bodes well for the collective goal of being fresh and healthy come May/June.
    The bench didn’t shine tonight, especially in their first stint, but Phil adjusted well and kept mostly to a mix of starters and Renegades until garbage time in the 4th.
    this is certainly a team designed for the long haul and I expect to see amazing things from them even in the regular season. No one, save perhaps Boston, is deep enough to run with us for 48 minutes. This will be a year to remember.
    Anna, I enjoyed the report, but you hit on one of my pet peeves, which is the phrase, “could care less”. It actually should be “couldn’t care less” and if you think about it, this makes so much more sense because it’s supposed to mean that you don’t care at all. You can’t care less than not at all. But if you could care less, then you do, in fact, care.

    • Anna

      I’m on a real roll with corrections on this post-game report, aren’t I? You’re right, it IS “couldn’t care less” and I knew that =(.
      .
      You’re all on proofread mode, which I appreciate. Thank you. I’ll try to be much sharper next time.

  • Rio Rondo College

    Nice win but did anyone see Rondo get 24 dimes?

    • http://espn.com LakersFirst

      No, but I did see when the Suckdics lost to a Lebron-less Cleveland team a few days ago

  • daboss1848

    It’s no wonder that Anna doesn’t do these reports and you guys are stuck reading reports from a guy who doesn’t even watch the games half the time.

    • MECKA

      Marwan?

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

      It’s still me doing the post-game reports. My apologies for the errors, and I do watch the entire game. I just have to take neater notes =)

  • http://57.amklac/ laffs atu

    it `s ok anna, you can come cry on my shoulder……..

  • e-bucher

    anna…you’re fired!!!

  • e-bucher

    an defensive

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

      ?

      • daboss1848

        nitpicky fans!!!!
        .
        “Bryant caught an defensive rebound” – Anna when u corrected offensive, u didnt change the “an” . . .

        • e-bucher

          boss…you’ll always be my girl..

  • e-bucher

    don’t kill yourself about it…

    4th para…3rd sentence…

    Bryant caught an defensive rebound, threw the ball cross-court to a waiting Matt Barnes, who swiftly handed it to a running Gasol.

    you changed it from offensive to defensive…but…

  • e-bucher

    everyone’s giving you a hard time…so i wanted to also…

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

      Thanks for bandwagoning, e-bucher. =)

  • lakerman1

    Just looked at the 2010/2011 schedule for November the Lakers have absolutely no contenders. If they do not lose focus/ interest or have key injuries they could easily be 18/0. Dec looks almost as easy with the exception of Miami and the 7 game roadtrip. Jan only Boston. Feb another 7 game roadtrip & Boston, March no real contenders except Miami again & April no real contenders ( I’ll give San Antonio the benefit of the doubt because they have won the Championships twice this decade). This team barring the above mention reasons should be real close to a seventy game winning season.

    • http://www.ekinsol.be ekinsol

      Don’t start speculatiing. Just wait and see (and enjoy !)

    • 242LakerFan

      Yeah, there were a lot of people saying the same thing last year; myself included. The problem is that we’re trying to speculate based on too many variables. Will everyone stay healthy? Will the team hold its focus? Will other teams get fired up to play us when we’re just not interested or motivated? Will a meteor fall from the sky and take out a section of the freeway, forcing us to forfeit a game? Okay, that one’s a stretch, but you get my point.
      Just relax and enjoy the show and we can worry about the real challenges when they get here in May and June.

      • DCLakeshow

        Yeah…I think it’s safe to say, that AT SOME POINT, this team will lose it’s focus. It’s just a matter of when, and how long of a stretch. We’ve done it the last few years, so the only thing that I believe that could save us from this happening, is a LIFT from our bench. We haven’t had as deep of a bench as we have this year, so if those boys could come in, and hold down the fort…It’ll make us THAT MUCH better of a team, when the Playoffs begin.

        ALSO: Pau is looking like a man possessed this season, and I love it.

        • 242LakerFan

          The bench is a huge improvement, no doubt. And Pau is looking incredible. I think anything around 60-64 wins this year is acceptable, barring anything catastrophic. But if the bench does contribute a few wins of their own, it could be very interesting.

        • Anna

          To think…Lamar’s gonna be part of this revamped bench. It makes me smile just thinking about it. Talk about someone playing like they’re possessed? LO, man. I’m so happy he played in the Worlds this summer.

  • janglesjr

    Why is Andrew Bynum afraid of Ronny Turiaf’s shadow?

    http://hoopstopia.com/?p=62

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