If you can’t kill them with your size, kill them with your speed. That’s what Don Nelson must’ve told his injury-ridden Golden State Warriors who ran the Lakers into playing at their pace so effectively that it produced 24 turnovers. Kobe Bryant, alone, had nine and Andrew Bynum had eight. With 29 and 18 points respectively, their efficient scoring was trumped by their sheer carelessness with the ball.

The only negative for the Warriors, and true it’s a big negative, is that they didn’t win the game, but they sure played like the victors tonight.

It was obvious that this game would be played feverishly quick and a foreshadowing of all the negligence to come appeared in the very first Laker possession that ended in Bynum’s first of eight turnovers.

The 33-point Laker victory up in Oakland last November must have been clear in the minds of the Warriors as they ran the Lakers ragged to an almost-vengeful win.

At halftime, the Warriors led 65-59 and had scored 17 points off Laker turnovers. Golden State scored easily and freely, hitting wide-open shots from all around the perimeter, and beating their opponents with a quickness the Lakers could not seem to match in return.

The road team allowed three 30-point quarters by the Warriors (1st, 2nd and 4th) and were lucky they got the win when they did.

The Lakers were no match for Stephen Curry who, despite getting his fourth foul with three minutes left in the third quarter, torched every player in a purple uniform to a near double-double of 29 points and nine assists. This young rookie is fearless no matter where he is on the court. Whether he’s behind the three-point line, driving in for a quick lay-up, or taking off for the deadly teardrop, any number of players defending him are better off just letting him pass, which is what the Lakers decided to do tonight.

Defense from the Purple and Gold was scarce this evening, and against a scoring powerhouse like Curry, a little resistance may have helped cool him down.

Pau Gasol, responsible for Anthony Tolliver (6’9”) and former Laker Devean George (6’8”), gave up 27 points to the relatively smaller forwards. In one sequence early in the game, Pau helped Kobe on Monta Ellis. Monta then passed to Devean George who had so much time on his hands waiting for Pau to snap out of his momentary, but frequent, lapse in defensive judgment, that he launched a three with not one Laker less than six feet away from him.

Ron Artest’s defense on Corey Maggette was hardly notable as well, as he still managed to score 18 points on 9-15 shooting.

Monta Ellis, guarded by Kobe, was 5-23 from the field, but with five steals, was still active defensively.

With a 9-point lead and under two minutes remaining, Joel Myers was ready to declare the win when Stu Lantz quickly interjected, “Is it safe?” It was indeed, completely unsafe, as the Warriors got to within two points on Monta Ellis’ blow-past-Kobe layup. When Kobe missed his first of two free throws (the Lakers missed eight free throws in all!), Steph Curry had a chance to tie it up, but his attempt clanged and ricocheted to the right as three Lakers watched the miss grabbed fervently by Monta Ellis whose desperate shot bounced atop the rim, then bounced off.

The defending Champs had escaped another close one, but they sure know how to make a victory feel like a loss.

Pre-game Thoughts: The Warriors’ tallest active player is 6’9”. If the Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol don’t go off offensively as well as defensively, the term “soft” will be the season’s biggest understatement.

Half-time Thoughts: 59-65, Warriors. They also have eight steals to the Lakers’ three, and the road team was 13-20 from the free throw line. Really?!

Most Thoughtless Player(s) of the Game: Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum, who had 17 of the Lakers’ 24 turnovers.

Most Thought-filled Player(s) of the Game: Lamar Odom — it’s always nice to see Odom play like the beast that we all know he is. 17 points on 7-9 shooting, 12 rebounds, an assist and 1 block. If only it weren’t such a rare occurrence.

  • yash

    Terrible Game. Id rather have a loss for this game than a win

    • MASMIK

      Any real basketball fan would take a win any day.

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

        I’ll take the win, as I’m sure any Laker fan would. I just wish sometimes they wouldn’t make it so hard on themselves to get it.

  • Trem

    Do the Lakers practice free throw shooting at practices? Seriously, they should consider focusing a little more on that. It would also be nice if Stu and Joel wouldn’t try to jinx us all the time. I think they are two of the least biased announcers in the game, but they are annoying sometimes

    • td

      Too unbiased really. Sometimes they let the other teams uncalled mistakes go, and call out the Lakers for small stuff.

  • KBGOAT

    I will take a bad win over a great loss any day.

  • 09champs!

    nahh it wasnt that bad, obvously its not the way you want to close out a game, but it was fun, one of the most entertaining games of the season, and to end it you get a win, nice.

    Pau, FREETHROWS are FREE. Make them!

    • daboss1848

      but silence on KBs miss in crunchtime to ice the game?

      • skim

        Kobe has come through time and time again with clutch free throws. Misses happen. Especially an in and out miss like that but Pau is constantly missing free throws night in and night out.

        • daboss1848

          Typical – excuses for one, but not the other . . .
          Pau FT – 78.6% – above his career of 74.1%
          KB FT – 82.5% – below his career of 83.9%

          • LC09

            Yo old skool no one makin excuses man pau missed Kobe missed too but y u ridin Kobe tho??n like techinally if pau hits all da free throws earlier in da game then Kobe wud Neva b in that situation. But still I was shocked Kobe missed one

          • daboss1848

            I no ride no1 – just pointing out that, as usual, only some are singled out.

  • Eidraq

    no team in the playoffs will be like these warriors suckers..thank goodness..now we should just pray that the bobcats dont make it to the finals

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

      How awesome would it be if the Bobcats eliminated the Cavs in the playoffs? Haha!

      • Eidraq

        if the cavs get too busy having a dancing marathon instead of playing bball…who knows what might happen? haha

  • Michael Perez

    Anna, you write the best articles. Hope you write all of them.
    One thing though… no where in your article does it say the final score… just a thought :-)

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

      I thought I put the score in the report. Sorry about that! I’ll put it in the title next time. Thanks, Michael!

  • KindSir

    One statement from the article stood out to me the most: “The defending Champs had escaped another close one, but they sure know how to make a victory feel like a loss.” and the sad thing about it is that is so true. No team in the league is worried about the Lakers right now.

  • Luke makes me Puke

    Steph Curry abused our point guards all game long. Smush of the Game? Fisher, Brown, Farmar, Sasha – take your pick. This has been a common problem all year long and will most likely continue. This problem must be addressed at the end of the season. (I wonder how Heinrich would have done guarding Curry)

    • WifelovesLuke

      Heinrich and everyone else in the league would have been torched by Curry. He’s just that good in that system!

    • skim

      Every team with a good point guard abuses our point guards

  • comeflywithme

    sasha and ammo for stephen curry!! lol

  • 242LakerFan

    Yet another game with 8-10 missed freethrows. Plus a ridiculous turnover total. We squeaked out of this one, but it could easily have fallen into the category of those many games where even half the missed freethrows would have made a win our of a loss. It’s becoming a little pathetic now, guys, really!
    As to the turnovers, I cannot fully fault Kobe for some of his. It can’t be easy handling with that sausage-like wrapped finger, but even some of his were off poor judgement, jump-passing, etc. Bynum seems to think he’s a guard sometimes. Identity crisis much?
    I won’t even get into the problem with quick guards. That’s so old. The fact is, it hasn’t actually beaten us, but still, it’s very scary from a fan perspective. I just keep getting the feeling that it’ll catch up to us sometime.
    Yeah, an ugly win is certainly better than a well-played loss, but I still want to eat my cake and have it too. Give us a few well-played WINS going into the Playoffs and I’ll feel better about the whole thing. Right now, I’m running on pure fan enthusiasm and faith.

  • Anthony

    I’m glad you pointed out the turnovers. Kobe was being extremely careless with the basketball throughout just as his teammates were.

    I did think that they should have kept putting the ball right back into Gasol down the stretch. He was putting up some nice shots and even when they didn’t go down he at least got a great look. This Laker team at times lacks an IQ on the court.

  • Kobe “3peat” Jordan

    Carelessness:

    -

    The Lakers decided to not play defense for the last 90 seconds of the game, almost resulting in a loss, and the turnovers were atrocious o both Bynum and Bryant’s behalf.

    -

    Bynum’s lack of defense:

    -

    Jim West: “Andrew Bynum is going to be the next Elgin Baylor.”
    Dr. Buss, please fire your mildly retarded son and leave the business to Jeanie and Phil when the time comes. Your son, Jim, who not only drafted the unmotivated and defensively retarded 7 footer thought it was a good idea to pay him all that money last season too. The comparison is both an insult and thoughtless. Why the hell would you compare him to Elgin Baylor?! Aim high Jim, or do you already see the disappointment that is Andre Bynum playing into fruition?

    • daboss1848

      *jim buss

      • Kobe “3peat” Jordan

        That’s for the correction, still need my coffee.

  • pauer

    Turnover total is ridiculous but Im wondering how many of those are because of uncalled fouls. Surely it isn’t a high percentage but that definitely leads to points in transition for such a quick team

  • ilikebasketball

    i dont’ agree that odom’s performance is rare.

    i think he has been more consistent for us than any other year, really.

    he is just so quiet.

    i didn’t even notice the 17 and 12 until i read that.

    pau has been maybe more consistent but this year has been soo lazy on defense.

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

      It’s rare in that it just doesn’t happen as often as it could. I know and appreciate that Lamar does what his team needs him to do at the time, but sometimes I wish it didn’t take something that was lacking for that game for LO to impose his skill on the other team. No one can guard this guy and I wish the opponent would get exposed by him all the time. Maybe in the playoffs.

      And Pau, yeah, I’m not sure what’s up with his attention to detail these days. For someone who’s always counted on for his “high basketball IQ,” he sure plays dumb on defense a lot.

  • http://lakers-edge.com/ dEDGE

    Although some of Kobe’s turnovers were the result of trying to feed the ball inside, I feel a lot of his issues were simply trying to hold onto the ball. He re-injured his finger in the Phoenix game and has gone back to wearing the hard protective device that makes his finger the size of Roger Rabbit’s. I mean, you try hanging onto the ball with a foam finger taped to your hand, let alone control your ball handling skills.

    Bynum on the other hand, looked like King Kong out there with all of the Warriors buzzing around his head like gnats. Whereas Kobe’s turnovers really don’t concern me, Bynum’s do because this clearly illustrates his deficiencies and the need for a mentor/tutor. Uhhhmm, Kareem, are you available?

    • 242LakerFan

      Kareem HAD been his mentor up until he had to take time off for treatment. That’s what is so frustrating about this kid. You’d think he’d pick up a little more from one of the most skilled big men to ever lace up a pair of All-Stars! If I had his height and his shooting touch, I’d relish the idea of learning the single deadliest shot in the history of the game from the man who mastered it. But the only time I see a hook shot from him is in desperation. It’s silly. I don’t know what the problem is. I mean, Daryl Dawkins talks about seeing “Skyhook…Skyhook…Skyhook…” in his nightmares! And it’s perfect for Drew because he has the height, the long arms, the footwork, plus he always gets in trouble when trying to dribble towards the basket and the skyhook is most effective going away from the basket or across it.

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