The Warriors called up Damian Jones from the D-League after Santa Cruz’s season ended two nights ago with an elimination from the playoffs, and head coach Steve Kerr decided to rest Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala. Also out were Matt Barnes (right ankle/foot sprain) and Kevon Looney (left hip train)
The Lakers were without D’Angelo Russell (personal reasons) and Ivica Zubac (right ankle).
Q1: KD Buckets Punctuated By McCaw
The Warriors got off to a hot start as James McAdoo two-hand slammed home a missed turnaround left baseline jumper from Kevin Durant…
…Zaza Pachulia drew free throws on an offensive board of Klay Thompson’s miss from the corner, and Stephen Curry hit a triple on a quick release on the catch from Pachulia.
But Julius Randle answered with an and-one inside, a good smattering of Lakers fans applauded as expected at Oracle anytime LA pays a visit.
Later, after Curry hit a side-step three on an extra swing pass…
…Durant hit a three up top in early offense after a Laker miss, Ingram threw a bad pass to McAdoo, and Klay found Zaza down low, who swung the ball to Curry for a trey attempt, Pachulia trotted back on defense expecting the splash, but Steph missed it.
Brandon Ingram flew down the court for a finger roll, but “KD” hit a right corner three, giving the Warriors a 24-14 lead.
Randle came back with a run-out bucket after a turnover by the Warriors, nobody got back, and Kerr called timeout.
Out of the timeout, Durant heated up, hitting a jumper, then executing a hesi-inside-out-lefty dribble against Ingram, rising for the pull-up and impressively drawing the and-one foul as the ball went through the hoop.
After another Lakers miss, KD hit for three more, and the Warriors were back up, 35-16.
Patrick McCaw later found JaVale McGee inside for a one-handed jam, at the expense of Corey Brewer…
…but Durant made a poor pass to a cutting Curry, Jordan Clarkson lobbed the ball to Ingram off the glass, and Kerr called a twenty-second timeout as the Lakers found themselves behind, 37-22, with 1:48 remaining.
The Warriors made another sloppy turnover, their third of the quarter, resulting in an uncontested Brewer dunk, then Shaun Livingston found JaVale with a laser pass from the right baseline for another McGee jam.
With 14.6 seconds to go, Clarkson hit a floater, Steph came back with a rocking crossover step-back, missed badly, but McCaw was there to clean it up with a putback slam from outside the hoop on the right baseline:
That gave Golden State a 43-28 lead heading into the second stanza, Durant leading the way with 15 points on 5-for-7 shooting, 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.
Q2: KD Stays Hot
The Warriors drew first blood in the second quarter as David West hit a turnaround after an entry pass from Ian Clark, then Thompson drew a foul on Metta World Peace, Klay’s free throws giving Golden State a 47-32 lead.
Later, after both teams traded turnovers on empty possessions, West found McCaw on a touchdown for an empathic smash, McCaw hit a three, but the Lakers wouldn’t go away as Randle converted inside, prompting Kerr to call timeout as the Warriors’ lead got trimmed to 52-41 with 4:52 left.
After the timeout, Durant hit a jumper, then disrupted a Randle inside up-fake, but the Warriors committed their eighth turnover of the half.
Durant threw his t-shirt to a persistent little fan at courtside:
Meanwhile, Curry threw his mouthguard at Warriors GM Bob Myers:
Later, Steph missed a left-corner three, but once again McCaw was there for the offensive rebound from the opposite right baseline, and regathered himself for a finger roll with little resistance.
KD hit a three from the top shortly thereafter, and Lakers head coach Luke Walton was forced to call timeout as the Warriors’ lead ballooned to 60-43 with 2:11 remaining.
Closing out the half, Durant struck again with a jumper via Curry, then an and-one on a runner where he seemed to not even look at the rim, fouled by Tyler Ennis, but KD missed the free throw, leaving him with 24 points to lead all scorers, on 9-for-12 shooting and 4-for-5 from downtown:
McAdoo got a block on Thomas Robinson before the break, Steph missed a runner, and the Warriors took a 64-50 lead into halftime.
(Photo: @letsgowarriors Instagram account via @the_amy_darlene)