L.A. Lakers At Golden State
When: 10:30 PM
ET, Saturday, December 21, 2013
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
The Golden State Warriors missed a chance to knock off one Western Conference team with injury issues when they lost to the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday. The Warriors will take their chances with another injury-riddled opponent when they host the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday. The Lakers played their first game following Kobe Bryant’s latest setback on Friday and had no trouble taking down the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Spurs were without Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan but the Warriors could not get enough stops down the stretch and ended up suffering a 104-102 setback. The biggest problem for Golden State was turnovers - a frequent point of concern for coach Mark Jackson during the first two months of the season. “We were careless and that gave (San Antonio) life,” Jackson said. Twenty-four turnovers and 31 points off of turnovers - tough to win ballgames that way. That’s not what championship-caliber teams do.”
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TWC Sports Net (Los Angeles), CSN Bay Area (Golden State)
ABOUT THE LAKERS (13-13): Los Angeles went 10-9 while Bryant missed the first 19 games of the season and picked up right where it left off without its superstar by sharing the ball and getting out in transition in a 104-91 win over the Timberwolves on Friday. Xavier Henry joined the starting lineup as the point guard but Pau Gasol ended up handling most of the distribution duties and handed out eight assists to go along with 21 points and 13 rebounds. The Lakers are close to getting a real point guard back with Jordan Farmar (hamstring) making progress but brought in former first-round pick Kendall Marshall to provide some support at the position.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (14-13): Golden State is enjoying some great individual performances of late from the likes of Stephen Curry, David Lee and Andrew Bogut, but Andre Iguodala is still working his way back into shape after a 12-game absence and Klay Thompson is mired in a 35-percent shooting slump over the past five games. Harrison Barnes is struggling coming off the bench as well. “They are not playing well right now,” Jackson said of Barnes and Thompson. “Not going to sit here and make excuses for them. I believe in my guys, they have had some great moments for us and they will have great moments for us, but right now they aren’t playing their best basketball.”
1. Curry has scored 20 or more points in 12 straight games - the longest active streak in the NBA - and leads the league with three 30-point, 10-assist games.
2. The teams have split two meetings this season, with Golden State cruising to a 125-94 home win on Oct. 30, behind a career-high 38 points from Thompson.
3. Gasol is shooting 72.2 percent from the field over the last three games.
PREDICTION: Warriors 111, Lakers 106
Stats and Records
Golden State Off vs
L.A. Lakers Def
103.0 Points For
103.0 Points Against