Playing just hours after the team announced the firing of head coach Mike Brown, the Los Angeles Lakers played a form of improvised basketball and used that comfort level to stomp on the Golden State Warriors, 101-77, at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Friday night.
Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 27 points, adding nine rebounds and seven assists on an efficient 10 of 18 from the field, including 2 of 4 from the three-point line. But it was the bench that would be the most impressive aspect of the win as they scored 37 points and pulled away from Golden State in the third and fourth quarters. The play of Pau Gasol was especially inspiring as the Spaniard grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds and collected two blocked shots.
Defense and turnovers were a problem for the Lakers through the first five games, but they managed to clean that up on Friday.The Lakers held the Warriors to just 33.7 percent shooting and 28 percent from the three-point line. They won the turnover battle, committing only 16 giveaways while forcing 19 for the Warriors.
Darius Morris scored a career-high 10 points and had five rebounds, five assists and one steal. Jodie Meeks, who did not play in the loss to the Utah Jazz due to a coach's decision, played 15 minutes and added seven points.
The offense looked loose as the Lakers undoubtedly got the message behind Brown's firing -- that this team is meant to win now, and that a poor effort will not be tolerated.
The Lakers will have a day to rest before taking on the Sacramento Kings on Sunday at Staples Center.