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Warriors overcome slow start to rout depleted Lakers

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The Canadian Press
12/22/2013 1:28:32 AM
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson didn't need to give a big speech before his struggling team faced the depleted Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night.

Recalling a loss against the short-handed San Antonio Spurs the last time out was good enough.

David Lee had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Andrew Bogut grabbed 20 rebounds and the Warriors shook off a slow start to rout the Lakers 102-83.

"I told the guys, 'What we don't want to do is let any more opportunities slip," Jackson said. "And tonight, we're in our building against a team that we're supposed to beat in our building. And the mindset was to handle our business.'

"And we did that."

Stephen Curry scored 18 points and Klay Thompson added 17 points to help the Warriors pull away with a 26-8 spurt to start the third quarter. Golden State (15-13) went ahead 83-70 early in the fourth to put the game out of reach.

"We knew how important this game was for us," said Bogut, who also had 12 points, two blocks and an assist. "We won a game we should have won."

Los Angeles had more notable names at home than at the arena.

Pau Gasol sat out with an upper respiratory infection for the Lakers, who already were missing Kobe Bryant (fractured left knee), Steve Nash (nerve root irritation in back), Steve Blake (torn ligament in right elbow) and Jordan Farmar (torn left hamstring).

Nick Young scored 20 points, and Chris Kaman had 17 rebounds and 10 points for the Lakers (13-14) in a sloppy game by both teams.

The Lakers committed 24 turnovers, while the Warriors had 18. Golden State shot 38.8 per cent and Los Angeles shot a season-low 32.5 per cent.

"They battled. We just didn't have enough," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said.

Though the Lakers were undermanned, the Warriors had failed to consistently take advantage of opportunities against short-handed teams lately.

Golden State had lost three of its last four games, including Thursday night at home against a San Antonio team playing without Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. The lone win during that stretch was against New Orleans, which played without injured starters Anthony Davis and Tyreke Evans.

The Lakers have been decimated even more by injuries. Los Angeles used its 12th different starting lineup this season: Xavier Henry, Jodie Meeks, Wesley Johnson, Jordan Hill and Kaman.

Gasol was the only player to start the first 26 games. D'Antoni was hoping Gasol would be healthy enough to play Monday at Phoenix, but the centre's status remains questionable.

At this point, the Lakers need anybody they can get. Los Angeles beat Minnesota on Friday night in an emotional first game since Bryant fractured his left knee, but the Warriors -- who struggled for long stretches again -- were too much to overcome on consecutive nights.

Neither team led by more than six points in a forgettable first half, and both sides hovered just above 30 per cent shooting for most of the game.

"It was ugly, but it was a pretty decent first half just to really stay in the game," said Johnson, who scored two points on free throws and missed all seven of his shots from the floor.

Thompson hit a pair of 3-pointers, and Bogut finished an alley-oop from Curry to highlight a 26-8 run to begin the third quarter that gave Golden State a 72-50 lead. It was the ninth time in Bogut's career that he had at least 20 rebounds in a game.

Curry finished with nine assists and six rebounds as the Warriors went ahead 83-60 early in the fourth quarter.

The only drama left had little impact on the final score. Officials called a flagrant-2 foul and ejected Marreese Speights for hitting Young around the neck from behind to prevent the Lakers' reserve from a dunk.

Los Angeles never got closer than 16 points in the final quarter.

"We were definitely not letting our guard down tonight after what happened with San Antonio," Lee said. "Because of the poor effort we put forth against San Antonio, at this point, it's more about what we're doing out there than who we're playing against."

NOTES: The Warriors improved to 2-1 against the Lakers this season, with the home team winning each time. ... The Lakers have not lost a season series to the Warriors since 1994-95, which also was the last time Golden State won both of its home games in the season series. ... The teams meet for the final time this season on April 11 in Los Angeles.

David Lee (Photo: Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
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